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Communications and Technology Graduate Program

The Communications and Technology Graduate Program at the University of Alberta offers a theoretical, historical and practical examination of communications in the era of the Internet, social media and the mobile device. Situated in the Faculty of Extension, we offer a Master of Arts (course-based and thesis) as well as collaborating with other university partners on interdisciplinary PhD opportunities.
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  1. Project Backpage: Using Text Messaging to Initiate Outreach Support for Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation [Download]

    Title: Project Backpage: Using Text Messaging to Initiate Outreach Support for Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
    Creator: Gordon A. Gow
    Subjects: communication studies, media studies, criminology, human trafficking
    Date Created: Dec. 9, 2015
  2. Project Backpage: Using text messaging to initiate outreach support for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation [Download]

    Title: Project Backpage: Using text messaging to initiate outreach support for victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation
    Creator: Gordon A. Gow
    Description: The use of the Internet and online advertising for solicitation by sex workers has created new challenges for community organizations attempting to reach victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation through traditional outreach strategies. Until recently, prostitution occurred primarily on the street and outreach was typically initiated through direct face-to-face contact. In this paper we describe the design and outcome of a multi-phase community-university collaboration in Edmonton, Canada, to explore the use of SMS text messaging to initiate outreach with individuals advertising on the adult services section of the website Backpage.com. The paper describes the impetus behind the project, the project goals and design, as well as results thus far. We also reflect on the results and present a set of emerging best practices, including the contribution of two-way text-based interaction for establishing trust between outreach organizations and the individuals seeking support. Overall, results from the project provide evidence to show that SMS is a cost-effective and important complementary communication strategy for outreach organizations seeking to initiate outreach to victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
    Subjects: text messaging, mobile phones, Backpage.com, Internet, sexual exploitation, outreach communication, human trafficking, SMS
    Date Created: 2014/09/01
  3. Capping Projects (Communications and Technology)

    Title: Capping Projects (Communications and Technology)
    Creator: ERA Administrator
    Description: Students in the MA in Communications and Technology (MACT) are creating a body of applied research with this collection of six-credit capping projects, a required component of the course-based program that integrates the practical and professional aspects of the core areas of study.
    Subjects: