Human-Computer Interaction Lab: Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series
This Week's Topic: The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDoS Attacks
Speaker: Mols Sauter
Date: Thur Dec 3 & every Thursday during the semester
Time: 12:30p - 1:30p
Join us via Zoom each week at this same link
This talk explores the role of tool design and media coverage in the relative success of Operation Payback and earlier activist distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) actions. Through a close reading of changes in the tool’s interface and functionality across several iterations, the article considers the evolution of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) DDOS tool, from one that appealed to a small, inwardly focused community to one that engaged with a larger population. The article further considers Anonymous’s contribution to the reframing of DDOS actions from a tool of direct action to a tool of media manipulation and identity construction as well as the news media’s role in encouraging individuals to participate in the Operation Payback actions.
M.R. Sauter is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. They are the author of The Coming Swarm: DDoS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet. They received their PhD from the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in 2020, and they hold a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MI. They have held research fellowships at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and New America.
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