Rooting for Twitter and Musk

The future of Twitter and of Elon Musk’s ownership of this platform are problematic. That said, it has been clear that Twitter had lost the plot in several respects and could benefit from new ideas and leadership. I’ve used Twitter for over a decade (13 years) and continue to value this platform, such as for … Continue reading Rooting for Twitter and Musk

Inevitable harms of UK regulation of social media

Today's Financial Times raised concerns over the Online Safety Bill under consideration by the UK’s Parliament. It was entitled ‘Tech sector alarmed at Patel push to monitor ‘legal but harmful’ content’ (Bradshaw et al 2022:1). Everyone in the UK should be alarmed – not simply the tech companies.[1] The risk is that by approaching the … Continue reading Inevitable harms of UK regulation of social media

Reconfiguring Communication to Level Up the UK

The Role of the Internet in Levelling Up the UK The UK Housing and Communities’ policy paper on Levelling Up the United Kingdom (February 2022) is organised around The UK Housing and Communities’ policy paper on Levelling Up the United Kingdom (February 2022) is organised around specific projects and initiatives in particular nations and regions.[1] … Continue reading Reconfiguring Communication to Level Up the UK

Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

There are serious problems with broadcast news in the UK, reflecting trends in public communication across other nations, that merit far more discussion and more systematic research. In many respects, the coverage of ‘partygate’ and new developments around the BBC License Fee highlight these issues, but could also narrow the discussion if focused only on … Continue reading Problems with British Broadcasting – Not Just the BBC

Could History be the New, New Thing? Archiving

Could History be the New, New Thing: Archiving Could it be that the digerati are beginning to wonder about the origins of such ‘innovations’ as video communication, AI, remote work, and more? Are they discovering that all these innovations have a long history in the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs)?  These questions arose … Continue reading Could History be the New, New Thing? Archiving

Private Emails Are Not (Yet) a Thought Crime

Private Emails? A Personal Perspective on Politicizing Norms of Communication In Orwell’s 1984, Winston Smith opens himself up to accusations of thought crimes for walking onto a street with a shop where he could buy pen and paper. In 2021, politicians and even the UK’s Information Commissioner wonder if ministers are guilty of some criminal … Continue reading Private Emails Are Not (Yet) a Thought Crime

Flawed Economics Behind Online Harms Regulation

The Flawed Economics of Online Harms Regulation I am not an economist,  but even I can see the huge flaws in a recently published “cost/benefit analysis of the UK’s online safety bill”.[1] My immediate reactions: The author, Sam Wood, of 'The Economics of Online Harms Regulation' in InterMEDIA, begins with an argument that the pandemic ‘[feuled] concerns … Continue reading Flawed Economics Behind Online Harms Regulation

Six Benefits of Academics Working with Government

The Value of Academics Working with Government: Lessons from Collaboration on Cybersecurity  William H. Dutton with Carolin Weisser Harris  Six of the benefits of academics collaborating with government include realising the value of: 1) complementary perspectives and knowledge sets; 2) different communication skills and styles; 3) distributing the load; 4) different time scales; 5) generating … Continue reading Six Benefits of Academics Working with Government

Portulans Institute Discussion of the Global Innovation Index 2020

The Portulans Institute is hosting, in a partnership with the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a virtual event focused on how America can strengthen and revitalize its innovation to ensure continued global competitiveness. Experts will discuss the state of innovation in America in the context of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report. This USA virtual event will … Continue reading Portulans Institute Discussion of the Global Innovation Index 2020

Self-Preservation of Your Work

Self-Preservation of Your Work For decades I have been concerned over the fragility of information and whether ephemerality or the transitory nature of information and communication is just an inevitable feature of the digital age. I therefore frequently look back at a talk I gave on the Internet to a conference of historians held in … Continue reading Self-Preservation of Your Work