Professor Gehl's latest article explores social media on the Dark Web
Communication Assistant Professor Robert W. Gehl's latest article, "Power/Freedom on the Dark Web: A Digital Ethnography of the Dark We Social Network," is now available Online First at New Media and Society. This essay is an early ethnographic exploration of the Dark Web Social Network(DWSN), a social networking site only accessible to Web browsers equipped with The Onion Router. The central claim of the essay is that DWSN is an experiment in power/freedom, an attempt to simultaneously trace, deploy, and overcome the historical condition in which it finds itself: the generic constraints and affordances of social networking as they have been developed over the past decade by Facebook and Twitter, and the ideological constraints and affordances of public perceptions of the dark web, which hold that the dark web is useful for both taboo activities and freedom from state oppression. Gehl traces the DWSN's experiment with power/freedom through three practices: anonymous/social networking, the banning of child pornography, and the productive aspects of techno-elitism. He then uses these practices to specify particular forms of power/freedom on the DWSN. Read Professor Gehl's article here.