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Showing posts from May, 2018

EM Opinion Piece: The academic frontier

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COLUMN The academic frontier By acknowledging that the academic frontier isn’t as fair as it would like to appear, maybe we will be kinder to one another as we plod ahead.
Academia is all about marking territory. Grab hold of a trending topic and make it yours. Invent a term, coin a concept and hope it sticks. Knowledge is propertied. Sometimes the game gets vicious. Predatory. Perhaps a senior scholar in need of renewal may prey on the work of their doctoral student or younger colleagues. A ‘rock star’ academic can encroach on well established and poorly marketed scholarship and brand it around him or her. A major grant can buy an emerging scholar a ‘reputation’ overnight that others have spent years struggling to build through the long road of committed research.This is no free market. Scholars from less wealthy institutions and countries struggle to be visible, to be heard and often to hold on to the ownership of their ideas. In desperation, they may put their work on ResearchGate o…

New article out in the International Journal of Communication

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I am thrilled by this new article with my former Master's student Linnea Thompson, one of the brightest students I have come across over these years. A dream collaboration which went smoothly and resulted in a publication with a top tier journal in the Communications field - the International Journal of Communication

We got to present this in Manchester for the Digital Economies workshop organized by Richard Heeks, a fantastic platform for sharing this work.

The article, Crowdsourcing as a Platform for Digital Labor Unions is about how crowdsourcing is used as a tool to reconfigure relations between outsourced factory workers and corporations through innovative platform designs and the challenges that ensue. Below is the full abstract and link to the full paper:


Global complex supply chains have made it difficult to know the realities in factories. This structure obfuscates the networks, channels, and flows of communication between employers, workers, nongovernmental organization…

Interview on Internet Romance Fraud on BBC's Why Factor

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Romance Fraud: The Why Factor
I was interviewed for this BBC podcast some weeks ago  on internet romance scams in India. I am around 11:18 min onward.The topic for this podcast is ‘Romance Frauds.’ I was invited to share my research on internet romance scams in low income communities in India where young males are being scammed by fake profiles of attractive women as they get on Facebook through their mobile phones. In contexts such as these where dating is forbidden to the extent that even talking to a girl can impact her reputation, Facebook promises romance for these teens as well as new ways to being deceived and even exploited.
Basically, this is the synopsis of the episodeWhy do people fall for online romance frauds? With false online profiles, doctored photographs, and convincing background stories, online fraudsters target people who are looking for love and online relationships. Once they have hooked their victims, they set about stealing money from them. But what convinces p…
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COLUMN Internet academic scams: why do scholars fall for them? The open access initiative, whilst being a worthwhile alternative to exploitative publishing models, has also opened the doors to bogus journals and other predators. https://www.erasmusmagazine.nl/en/2018/04/24/internetoplichting-in-de-wetenschappelijke-wereld-waarom-trappen-wetenschappers-erin/ Last year I received an email from someone who claimed to be part of a foundation that  tackles romance scams. It started like this: “To Dr Payal Arora, Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is X. I am also a victim of a cyber crime, a romance scam stemming from Nigeria. The reason I am contacting you is to bring attention to cyber crime, more specifically romance scams. Cyber exploits of this nature target mostly women, to lure them emotionally. Exploiting that vulnerability is what the con artists know best…As we speak, I am preparing for a trial to be heard in Abuja Nigeria…” What did this person want from me? She wanted m…