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Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I research social media identities, platforms, and cultures, with a focus on anonymity and pseudonymity.

I’ve published work on secondary or alternative social media accounts, ways people negotiate unknowable algorithms, embodied verification on NSFW Reddit, and the shift from usernames to profiles in social media. My most-cited article, co-authored with Jordan Frith, argues that we would lose dynamic, engaging social media practices in a move to the “real name web”.

My book, Sex and Social Media, co-authored with Katrin Tiidenberg, takes a feminist, sex-positive approach to how social media platforms shape and restrict sex, and how sexual identities, practices, and communities must all negotiate platforms to survive and thrive.

I tweet at @emvdn.

Education/Academic qualification

Media and Communications, PhD, Social Media Pseudonymity: Affordances, Practices, Disruptions, Swinburne University of Technology

Research area keywords

  • social media
  • anonymity
  • platform studies
  • pseudonymity
  • online identites
  • algorithms
  • digital cultures

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or