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Digital Society Blog

Making sense of our connected world

Understanding Platform Governance

More and more people and institutions communicate via Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and co. They allow us to share photos, news, opinions and status updates of all kinds with the whole world. Therefore its importance for political developments and moods is rising. The rules of platforms for sorting and blocking, for liking and sharing determine whose voices get heard, how content is being framed and who gets access to which data.

Articles in this Dossier

Trump’s social media ban: Reviewing the constitutionality of permanent digital punishment

Trump’s ban from social media, while gaining significant media attention, does not represent an isolated case. Preventing individuals from accessing social media platforms or parts of them is a common...

The Digital Services Act and freedom of expression: triumph or failure?

This article looks at new obligations and regulatory powers introduced by the DSA and examines their potential to safeguard freedom of expression.

Trump’s very own platform? Two scenarios and their legal implications

Should it be up to private actors to decide whether or not to ban the US President from the digital public sphere? Most probably have a clear opinion on these...

The troll next door: an interview with Laura Lackas

Digital debate culture and forms of communication on the internet are frequently discussed topics in public and scientific discourse. In an interview, communication scientist Laura Lackas talked about the experiences…

More important than ever! Social Platform Governance during and after the 2020 US Presidential Election

The 2020 US Presidential Election has shown that practices of social platform governance and content moderation decisions are more crucial than ever. While the transparency of these algorithmic systems remains...

Don’t break up Facebook, make it more transparent

The fever pitch over Big Tech’s market dominance culminated with a contentious US Congressional hearing a few months ago. While Google, Apple and Amazon may require new onerous regulation, Facebook’s...

Getting Involved: Civic engagement platforms – Where volunteering begins

An Interview with Hanna Lutz by Lorenz Grünewald-Schukalla and Claudia Haas In 2018, an interdisciplinary expert commission comprising nine professors started working on the Third Engagement Report, titled The Future…

Owning platforms – cooperatives in the digital economy

Digital trading platforms like Amazon or Uber generate billions in turnover, yet their success has been overshadowed by their drawbacks for platform users. Could cooperative models ameliorate the flaws of…

Is the COVID-19 pandemic social media platforms’ chance at redemption?

Faced with an ‘infodemic’ in the wake of COVID-19, social media platforms have ramped up their efforts to address misinformation. Facebook in particular seems to have implemented a surprisingly robust…

Platform Governance and Copyright

Berlin, 23 January 2020 – How does the EU copyright reform affect social media content? And thinking further: How does copyright law influence cultural diversity in Europe? And does Article…

Busted! User generated content | HIIG

Busted: Internet platforms are not liable for user-generated content

Online, you will hear this myth a lot: Whatever people post online does not fall under the responsibility of platform operators. Amélie Heldt takes a close look at this myth to determine…

Why a view is not always a view

To measure the reach of online content on the different existing platforms you need a consistent standard. For example on Facebook three seconds count as a view while on YouTube…

The blame-game in a post-Trump world

Donald Trump’s victory came as a surprise and/or shock to most pollsters, journalists, scientists, and citizens all over the world. And ever since Trump became the president-elect one question seems…

Crowd Science

Online platforms offer a variety of opportunities for volunteers to engage in the process of knowledge generation. How are Crowd Science projects brought into being and how do they work? An insight….

The power of platforms

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram structure public discussion and news perception. As their user numbers grow steadily their influence grows mutually. José van Dijck, professor at the department of…

The internet infrastructure’s turn to content

One of the internet’s key features is that it keeps networking functions separate from the content and application services that use these functions. However, networking seems to become infused with…

How “Leave” won Twitter: an analysis of 7.5m Brexit-related tweets

How did Eurosceptic (leave) and pro-European (remain) activity compare on social media in the run-up to the EU referendum, and was there a relationship between social media users and votes?…

professionelles Videostudio

Is this actually still user-generated content on Youtube?

The division between professional media and user-generated content on YouTube can hardly be maintained any more. Web videos are increasingly more professional, especially because amateurs are often supported by specialised companies….

5 questions to…

Max Hänska, Lecturer/Assistant Prof. at De Montfort Universitaet in Leicester, GB. His research topics are Social Media in political communication and grassroot journalism as well as the role of communication...

Axel Bruns

5 Questions to …

… Visiting Researcher Dr Axel Bruns, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Interview by Kirsten…

When YouTubers Strike Back – DMCA and the case of YouTube’s failed dispute resolution system

When a CEO publicly states that the company is “listening” you know something’s up. So when YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki was forced to tweet these very words this came as a…