27-29th May 2024
Scams are a hot topic, both in the media and in our economic lives. The internet is fertile for the cultivation of a world in which scams make sense and the diffusion of scams themselves. This new “scamminess” is a reaction to precarity and a deepening of it. The “scam” label identifies capitalism out of place: it delegitimates certain forms of economic activity and legitimates others.
For Lana Swartz, associate professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, scams are a fundamental part of technological change. Each innovation creates new opportunities for innovative exploitation. Scams—and scams prevention—authorize surveillance and other forms of platform power, says Lana Swartz.
Most of Lana’s research is about money and other communication technologies. Her book, New Money: How Payment Became Social Media was released from Yale University Press in August 2020. Her co-edited book, Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff was published in April 2017.
Lana recently released a major research report on the warning signs and ways forward for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), which was conducted in collaboration with the MIT Digital Currency Initiative and funded by the Gates Foundation. She is currently also writing a book about scams.
Lana was a 2020-2021 Berggruen Fellow, 2021 Fellow at the University of Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and 2020-2021 Visiting Scholar at the Center for Advance Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Previously, she was a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Lana received a PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California and an SM in Comparative Media Studies from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At #rp23, we look forward to Lana’s keynote on the scam age!