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Researching Social Media governance and freedom of expression – Lunch talk with Chiara Poletti

O P E N    B R O W N – B A G   L U N C H

Lunch talk with Chiara Poletti: Researching Social Media governance and freedom of expression
Wednesday, 6 September 2017 · 1pm · HIIG Kitchen

Since their creation, Social Media Platforms’ (SMPs) power in the digital space has grown exponentially. SMPs are today one of the major gateway for information and intermediary of expression. However, their centrality and massive use are posing serious challenges to freedom of expression. Regulation of illegal or abusive content, censorship, surveillance, and the privatisation of communication policies are among the most controversial issues that academics, politicians, technologists and civil society are tackling.

Can SMPs be a space of free expression? The question relates not only to diverse ideals of governance of digital spaces but also to the different regimes of freedoms and restrictions that can be realised through legislation and technology.

The topic involves heterogeneous actors (individuals, organisations, technologies) in a ‘hybrid’ socio-technological system that overcomes geographical borders and traditional social categories. How can we conceptualise and research such a complex and wide problem? In this presentation I would like to discuss a possible approach based on the adaptation of theoretical and methodological concepts developed in the context of material semiotic and controversy mapping, methods increasingly associated with the use of digital tools. In the presentation, I will raise some questions concerning conceptual problems and technical solutions developed in my research framework.

Chiara Poletti is a visiting fellow at HIIG and an ESRC funded PhD researcher in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

The lunch talk is open to the public, please register in advance via

Event date

06.09.2017 | 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm ical | gcal


Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society,  Französische Straße 9,  10117 Berlin


Katrin Werner

Former Coordinator for Science Communication and Fundraising


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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