Susanna Paasonen’s Book about Risks in Social Media Receives International Award


Media researcher Susanna Paasonen’s book #NSFW – Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media has been awarded with the Nancy Baym Annual Book Award.

The book award named after researcher Nancy Baym is awarded to a monography relating to the social and cultural dimensions of networked media which opens new directions for the field of study. In addition to Susanna Paasonen, the authors of #NSFW – Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media are Kylie Jarret and Ben Light.

The award was granted by the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). The association established in 1999 promotes critical and multidisciplinary research of the Internet.

The full justifications for the award

NSFW is a wonderful, original and surprising book that deeply and critically interrogates issues around sex, porn, safety, and labor, be that the labor of producing online porn or keeping Facebook “safe”. The book weaves together its various threads (dick pics, algorithmically-produced art, misogynistic online harassment, and much more) to produce a compelling account of aspects of digital culture that – whether we like it or not – touch us all. Drawing on a variety of empirical materials and theoretical insights, NSFW is, in many ways, the consummate AoIR book: the very collaboration between Paasonen, Jarrett and Light was conceived at AoIR conferences, work in progress was presented at AoIR conferences, and the book is in constant dialogue with work produced by the AoIR community. (Association of Internet Researchers)

Not Safe for Work – How to Categorise Social Media Content Safe or Un-safe?

Paasonen’s book focuses on the hashtag NSFW (not safe for work) with both qualitative and quantitative methods, and studies how and why the sexual content is categorised safe or un-safe.

– This joint project of many years with Kylie Jarrett and Ben Light has made the control of social media content visible on a practical level. Our emails related to the book have disappeared into spam folders, and content we have shared on Facebook has been categorised as against its community standards, Paasonen reveals.

The book criticises the rigid control of sexual content and contemplates on the risks in working in social media.

– The categoric and automatic, context blind control of media content does not limit only sharing pornography, but wider discussion of sexuality, research related to it, and the living space of sexual cultures, Paasonen sums up.

The book is connected to the Sexuality and Play in Media Culture project lead by Paasonen, and to work done in the intimacy in data-driven culture consortium.

Created 18.09.2020 | Updated 18.09.2020