Student Experience Director
Lecturer in Global Digital Cultures
- Dr Matti Pohjonen
- Email address:
- SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Office No:
Matti Pohjonen works at the intersection of digital anthropology, critical philosophy and data science. For the past 10 years, he has developed critical-comparative research approaches for understanding digital cultures globally. This has included, among other things, work on international news and blogging in India, mobile technology in East Africa, comparative research on online extremism and hate speech in Ethiopia and Europe, and exploring new methods in “big data” analysis and artificial intelligence for digital media research.
He received his MA and PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where he also worked as a Senior Teaching Fellow (2006-2009) an AHRC-funded Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (2013). He was also a Researcher for the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCLMP), at the University of Oxford (2013-2016), a Research Fellow (2015-2016) for the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence, and a Visiting Research Fellow (2017) at the Centre for Media and Communication (ZeMKI), at the University of Bremen. His work as a Senior Researcher (2016-2017) for Africa’s Voices Foundation was dedicated to developing innovative research and data analysis methods for hard-to-reach populations in East Africa.
His ongoing work revolves around two themes. The first involves understanding the implications of extreme speech for democracy and freedom of speech, especially around debates on hate speech, online extremism, misinformation and online conflict. The second looks at the broader social, political and cultural implications of debates around Artificial Intelligence, highlighting marginalised perspectives from the Global South often dis-articulated from the utopian and dystopian vision of how the digital future is being imagined globally.