What should we call the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
In the preface to Harold D. Lasswell’s (1936: v) book entitled Politics, he famously defined politics as the study of ‘who gets what, when, and how’ – also the subtitle of his book. He went on to argue that influence is central to politics and that “[c]oncepts for the study of influence must be changed … Continue reading Cognitive Politics
I respect the right of anyone to choose when and how they reply to an email. The person receiving an email has the power to delete, ignore, read, respond immediately or respond whenever they choose. They can even have an automatic response, say over their holiday or weekend, that they are away from work and … Continue reading The Right to Send Anytime, Anywhere, All at Once
Should Elitists Get Off Twitter? An opinion piece in the Financial Times by Janan Ganesh (2022) argued that the real reason to get off Twitter was that it “reeks of low status”. Stay on it long enough and you can “catch” its tone of “domestic mediocrity”. Even elites who use this micro-blogging site should beware … Continue reading Should Elites Get Off Twitter?
Twitter debates might put freedom of expression back on the agenda
The destruction of cities, infrastructures, including telecommunication and media, and deaths of thousands resulting from the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine from 24th February 2022 are increasingly well documented. Cyber-attacks have been one aspect of this larger war that have undermined the public and private sectors, as well as individuals. Nationally and globally, it might … Continue reading Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society
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. The risk is that by approaching the … Continue reading Inevitable harms of UK regulation of social media
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
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
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”. 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