“My research seeks to empower the vulnerable, the marginalized, and any actors and groups attempting to bring progressive societal changes.”
Merlyna Lim’s research focuses on how technology and society shape and reshape each other. Her interests lie in researching the socio-political culture and techno-sociality of technology—especially digital media and information technology—concerning issues of inequality, inclusion/exclusion, injustice, democracy, and civic engagement. She studies digital media and grassroots bodily actions and activities that are intertwined in making social movements globally, from the Middle East to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. Lim also investigates the rise of regressive movements, such as alt-right and anti-science campaigns worldwide, primarily focusing on their relationship with social media algorithms. She helps reveal and address inequalities and various forms of discrimination/marginalization in the design, application, usage, and policies around digital technology, mainly social media platforms and their algorithms. Her research attempts to understand how progressive and regressive come into being by analyzing the social and political rhythm of society and how the algorithmic patterns of social media are utilized in this process. Lim is hopeful that her research can help various social-change groups to understand better the complexity of digital media (strengths, limitations, potentials, and risks) and, through this knowledge, further empower themselves.
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