Technologies and politics of illicit markets
This project explores how illicit markets evolve in response to developments in digital technologies and the digital society. It examines the cultural economics of online drug dealing, social interactions and trust building among market users, harm reduction practice, and the evolution of technology in these communities.
We use web scraping, digital ethnography, interviews, qualitative content analysis and natural language processing.
Methodological Challenges and Questions
Methods are adapted to the questions we are asking. There are a range of challenges:
Assembling timeline and sequential data from multiple sources
Triangulating real world events with changes in the market and communities
Interpreting meaning in online discussions
Protecting the privacy of the communities and individuals we research
Custom web scraper built by Alex Voss (St. Andrews/Harvard) and data generously shared by other teams, for which we are extremely grateful.
Read about this project: