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Session Overview
Histories 1
Friday, 04/Nov/2022:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Steve Jones
Location: EQ-211

100 seat horseshoe

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Internet Histories I

Megan Sapnar Ankerson1, Anat Ben-David2, Kevin Driscoll3, Holly Kruse4, Ashwin Nagappa5

1University of Michigan, United States of America; 2The Open University of Israel, Israel; 3University of Virginia, United States of America; 4Rogers State University, United States of America; 5Queensland University of Technology, Australia

This panel is one of a pair of panels we are proposing that is devoted to the topic of Internet history. The five papers that comprise this panel focus on different historical case studies that explore hidden, lost and forgotten histories of the internet and networked computing. Shining light on marginal figures, alternative platforms, unanticipated consequences, and lost network practices, these papers bring careful historical analysis to a diverse range of topics that include the history of shareware, the evolution of the alternative video streaming platform D-Tube, the biography of a woman computer programmer struggling with mental illness, the history of networked popularity through a case study of WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), a pre-web search and retrieval system designed for commercial users, and an analysis of the political stakes and archival challenges that arose when Twitter suspended Donald Trump's Twitter account, a move that ultimately has the consequence of ensuring that Trump's tweets during a very controversial presidency can never be archived. While the individual papers are united through their orientation to internet history, they also illuminate alternate ways of thinking about crucial issues surrounding digital economies, copyright, governance, privacy, popularity, infrastructure, and the preservation of public histories.

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