Geotagging Muslims in Thailand

Thailand (dark green) / ASEAN (dark grey)

Image via Wikipedia

My paper co-authored with Treepon Kirdnark about geotagging Flickr photographs of Muslims will appear in a forthcoming issue of new Media &  Society.

We argue that geotags  – markers designating longitude and latitude on an online map – associated with photographs of Thailand’s Muslims might be replicating common stereotypes of that minority group.  LIke in the US, most Thais are part of a majority religion (for them, Buddhism) but there is in fact a diverse range of Muslims in Thailand (ethnically Malay Muslims, Chinese Muslims, South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslims, etc.)

Our findings are interesting in part because the arguments about participatory media are that they open up new spaces and news ways of representing previously ignored groups.  Yet our research suggests that isn’t necessarily so.   One reason may be the lack of Thai participation on Flickr and similar sites.

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