Digital Trust and Security Seminar Series: Silje Anderdal Bakken A digital futures event - 29th February 2024

On the 29th February 2024, in this edition of the Digital Trust and Security Seminar Series, Digital Futures welcomed Silje Anderdal Bakken, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo, to give a talk titled 'Online Drug Markets: How is the Digitalisation of Social Interaction Changing Illegal Markets?'.

The event invited attendees internal and external to The University of Manchester, with many participants coming from across Northern England, including Sheffield and York.

Dr Meropi Tzanetakis, Lecturer in Digital Criminology at The University of Manchester, kicked off proceedings with a short welcome and introduction to all attendees. Following this, Silje commenced her talk.

Dr Meropi Tzanetakis welcoming all attendees.

Stemming from her research interests within the field of digital criminology, Silje showcased her PhD project, “Drug dealing on social media: A sociological study of risk, trust, and capital in illegal drug markets”, based on a cross-national study in the Nordic countries, called Nordic Drug Dealing on Social Media (NDDSM). During her PhD, Silje conducted qualitative observations and interviews to uncover how illegal drugs are sold digitally, mainly on social media and darknet. 

Silje presenting 'Online Drug Markets: How is the Digitalisation of Social Interaction Changing Illegal Markets?'

Unveiling how social media drug dealing is shaped by both the digital context and the physical, local contours of the market, Silje revealed that despite the global nature of social media platforms, there are important local differences in the ways drug dealing interactions takes place on these. Demonstrating the transformative impact of digital communications platforms on illegal markets, Silje discussed how they introduce new sets of skills, which further opens the way for new actors to enter these illegal markets, without the right street culture or social network.

Attendees enjoying a lively Q&A session with Silje.

A Q&A session followed, wherein attendees discussed ideas and asked questions about Silje's research. Soon after, Dr Tzanetakis brought things to a close which was followed by a networking session.

If you missed the event, you can watch it back here:

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