Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | January 26, 2014

January 27, 2014 Host Corinne Frugoni Interviews Dr. Monica Stephens, Assistant Professor of Geography at Humboldt State University about the Relationship Between Spatial and Social Networks

Let’s say we want to look up information and maps about and of Humboldt County on the Internet.  What will we find? Who is writing the information? How accurate and reliable is the information? What worldview bias are we exposed to when we use the Internet?

monica_stephensDr. Monica Stephens research is showing that maps created through “user generated content are similar to their predecessors that are biased by the norms, traditions, assumptions and political biases of map makers…the maps are colored by the demographics of the mapmakers.” Her research shows that there is a growing gender gap that is biased toward the male perspective.

Along with other geographic academics, Monica Stephens has also researched and produced “The Geography of Hate.” The impetus for this investigation was prompted by the prominence of debates around online bullying. By studying and documenting homophobic, racist and disability online tweets,  this group  went on to examine how social media has become an important conduit for hate speech, and how particular terminology used to degrade a given minority group is expressed geographically. Here is another example of the manner in which the social and spatial context that humans grow up in and are surrounded by create “the virtual spaces of social media.”Screen+Shot+2013-05-09+at+11.37.39+PM

Dr. Monica Stephens’ research and teaching focus on the geographic world. Her current work examining the geographies of gender, hate, and censorship online. She spends hours investigating online social networks,xenophobia, ‘bigdata’, the geoweb, and new methods in geographic information science.



To listen to and/or download Corinne’s conversation with Dr. Monica Stephens click the following link:1-27-2014 Corinne Dr. Monica Stephens Geo-Mapping

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