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Plattform Demokratie Africa Research Clinic

Research Clinic Africa – Platform://Democracy

Platforms are legislators, enforcers and adjudicators of online speech rules. Their norms and algorithmic practices shape how we communicate. But how can we ensure public values in digital communication orders? And which ones? In four regional research clinics we aim to shed light on how to provide the normative infrastructure for better rule-making, rule-enforcing and rule-adjudication structures in (primarily online) hybrid communication spaces. In these clinics we will make use of the unique institutional experiences and individual backgrounds of Clinic participants, to work towards good suggestison on how to democratize online communication spaces and to ensure that rules and practices are socially sustainable.

Africa Research Clinic | Regional Coordinator

      Anriette Esterhuysen
Anriette Esterhuysen coordinates the Africa Research Clinic. She is a Senior advisor on internet governance, policy advocacy and strategic planning at the Association for Progressive communications and is an expert in cyber stability and internet governance taking into account human rights.

Affiliation: Association for Progressive Communications

Africa Research Clinic | Fellows

      Berhan Taye
Berhan Taye is an independent researcher, analyst, and facilitator who investigates the relationship between technology, society, and social justice. She is currently a Practitioner Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford University and has affiliations with the Center for Intellectual Property and IT at Strathmore University. Berhan also serves as a Senior Advisor at Internews' Global Internet Freedom Project.

Affiliation: Independent researcher
      Ephraim Percy Kenyanito
Ephraim is a trained lawyer and public policy analyst with over eight years in the International Trade, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Law industry. Since 2013 he has served as an Independent Expert to two ICANN Implementation Advisory Group. Since 2012, Ephraim has also executed international development projects with a diverse range of leading international institutions across 46 African Union member countries. Presently, Ephraim does research at the nexus of Digital Infrastructures, Digital Trade, Electronic Commerce and Data Protection and Open Data.

Affiliation: Queen Mary University of London/ University of East London
      Grace Githaiga
Grace Githaiga, is the Convenor at the multi-stakeholder ICT Policy and Regulation advocacy think tank, KICTANet, Kenya. In addition to her role at KICTAnet, Grace is a respected advocate for public interest in ICT policy, digital rights, and broader human rights. She has conducted research on and training in various ICT and media, mainstreaming in gender in digital rights, human rights online etc. She also hosts Take on Tech, a weekly TV talk show at Kenya's public broadcaster, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Affiliation: Kenya ICT Action Network
      Nashilongo Gervasius
Nashilongo Gervasius is a public policy researcher and media practitioner, having worked in the media and communication field in Namibia for the past 13 years. She is the founding President of the Internet Society Namibia Chapter and an Advisor to the Namibia National Working Group on Internet Governance Forum. She was recently appointed by the Namibian President to serve on the national 4IR Task force where she chairs the sub-committee on Infrastructure (ICT and Energy) and National Data.

Affiliation: Namibia University of Science and Technology / London School of Economicsk
      Khadijah El-Usman
Khadijah El-Usman is the lead for Anglophone West-Africa at Paradigm Initiative with a focus to advance internet freedom, and to monitor the legal and policy framework around the region, so that citizens’ rights are protected online. Khadijah is a legal practitioner and has managed research and advocacy projects on Women’s Rights online, Global Disinformation, Data Protection, Digital Identity, Strategic Litigation and other issues with Paradigm Initiative. She was an Internews Data Accountability, Protection, and Transparency (ADAPT) fellow.

Affiliation: Paradigm Initiative
      Tomiwa Ilori
Tomiwa Ilori is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Project Coordinator at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. He is an expert in digital policy and digital rights with specific focus on platform governance, online harms, communication surveillance and data protection.

Affiliation: Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
      Emmanuel Vitus
Emmanuel Vitus is a digital policy researcher and the Executive Director of the Holland-based AW Free Foundation. Through research, advocacy, policy analysis, stakeholder engagement and capacity building programs, he works to advance professional journalism and independent media in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Affiliation: AW Free Foundation
      Kuda Hove
Kuda Hove is a researcher with a decade of experience in Information Technology law and policy work. His work is focused on reducing the potential harms that various digital technologies pose for the enjoyment of fundamental rights particularly the right to human dignity, the right to privacy, and the right to free expression. Kuda holds a Master of Laws in IT Law, he has led Digital Rights work at the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Privacy International and Consumers International. In this project, Kuda will research on ways to improve how social media councils are set up and run.

Affiliation: Independet researcher
      Thobekile Matimbe
Thobekile Matimbe is a Partnerships and Engagements Manager at Paradigm Initiative (PIN) and coordinates PINs research on the state of digital rights and inclusion in Africa, among other roles. Her research experience cuts across digital rights themes including data protection, Internet shutdowns, content moderation, censorship, and surveillance as well as artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. Thobekile is the Membership Officer of a research network, the African Digital Rights Network (ADRN).

Affiliation: Paradigm Initiativ

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About the Project

The project "Platform://Democracy: Platform Councils as Tools to Democratize Hybrid Online Orders" examines how the rules of discourse on platforms can be aligned with public values. It focuses on the following question: Can "platform councils" or other institutions ensure that public interests and democratic values are taken into account in the rule-making processes of platforms?

Project Team

      Matthias C. Kettemann
Matthias C. Kettemann is principal investigator of the Platform://Democracy project. He is research program lead at the Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut, research group head at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and professor of Innovation, Theory and Philosophy of Law at the University of Innsbruck.

Affiliation: Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, University of Innsbruck, Leibniz-Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut.
      Christina Dinar, Dipl.-Päd.
Christina Dinar is a junior researcher for Platform Governance at Leibniz Institut for Media Research|Hans Bredow Institut and specialises on community-involved content moderation practices and user participation perspectives.

Affiliation: Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut
      Josefa Francke
Josefa Francke is a junior researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research (HBI) in Hamburg and an associated researcher at the HIIG in Berlin. Her research focus lies in participatory-democratic innovations and human rights globally and in the digital space.

Affiliation: Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut
      Lena Hinrichs
Lena Hinrichs studies law at the University of Hamburg and works at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute.

Affiliation: Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut

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