I’m an Associate Professor of Media and Communication in the Department of Media, Journalism & Film at Miami University. I write and teach about the transformation of media and advertising systems in the digital age with an emphasis on the political economy of internet technologies and consumer surveillance.
Recently, I consulted on language for proposed legislation, the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, introduced by Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Here is my statement of support for the bill: “Surveillance advertising is a broken business model that incentivizes manipulation, enables discrimination, weakens privacy, and undermines a free and diverse media system. The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act is an important step toward resetting the internet economy to work for everyone, rather than the most powerful.”
I’m happy to talk with journalists and other folks about digital advertising and other issues related to internet business, media, advertising, and politics. See Media, Talks, & Consulting page for more info.
This site is a likely a bit out of date. Some (fairly) recent activities:
- Adapted excerpt from Profit Over Privacy in Boston Review: How Capitalism—Not a Few Bad Actors—Destroyed the Internet
- For The Reboot: Crain Power Play Big Techs Feud Over Mobile App Tracking
- For The Reboot: Crain How Surveillance Advertising Seized Our Data and Hijacked the Web
- Co-authored report for Data & Society: Weaponizing the Digital Influence Machine
The Political Perils of Online Ad Tech
- Co-authored piece putting forward ideas about how social media can limit political manipulation in The Conversation, republished by Fast Company and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab
- Op-ed on CNN about Congress, the FCC, and internet privacy
- Article in New Media & Society about data brokers and the commodification of personal information.
- A critical political economy of web advertising history. Chapter in Sage Handbook of Web History.
- Co-authored essay in N+1 about social media, advertising, and political manipulation
- Co-authored essay in Journal of Information Policy on Political Manipulation and Internet Advertising Infrastructure
Selected Media and Talks:
- Spoke at Co-Opting AI: Advertising. The Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU.
- Interviewed for a story in Consumer Reports about consumer surveillance
- Interviewed for a story in NPR Music about private equity’s role in iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy
- Interviewed by Morning Consult on Facebook content moderation challenges
- Presentation at Data & Society in NYC about the history and future of internet advertising
- Interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace about Google’s acquisition of the music streaming service Songza
Previously I taught at Queens College, City University of New York and in the New Media Studies program at DePaul University. Before that I was a Graduate College Fellow and a researcher with the Center for People and Infrastructures at the University of Illinois. And waaaay before that, I was a fellow at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and a participant in the Annenberg-Oxford Summer Institute on Global Media Policy. I did my PhD at the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Just a note about any ads you might see: WordPress, the host of this site, now runs ads on hosted sites unless users upgrade.
Another developing interest of mine is information visualization. Info viz can be great a teaching and research tool, blending aesthetics with the presentation and interpretation of data. Here is a word cloud visualization of my manuscript’s first chapter, weighted by frequency. It provides a quick impression of my points of emphasis. Scroll down for a few more infographics.
This is a pseudo-cartogram illustrating the “realms of social media.” (Image by David Parkins for The Economist.)
And an infographic about income distribution. (Image by Mother Jones. Data from Emmanuel Saez.)
And then there is this, from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Some infographics are more useful than others. (I still like this one though.)