Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society

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

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

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

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

Society and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven the Internet and related social media and digital technologies to the forefront of societies across the globe. Whether in supporting social distancing, working at home, or online courses, people are increasingly dependent on online media for everyday life and work. If you are teaching courses on the social aspects of … Continue reading Society and the Internet

To Be Virtual or Not to Be: That is Not the Question

Today’s newspapers have wonderfully conflicting stories. One story is about Ministers of Parliament (MPs) in the UK being angry over their ‘virtual parliament’ coming to an end.* The other story is the opposite, about the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, facing criticism from his Cabinet because they are continuing to meet via online video conferencing rather … Continue reading To Be Virtual or Not to Be: That is Not the Question

Publication of A Research Agenda for Digital Politics

A Research Agenda for Digital Politics  The publication of my most recent edited book, A Research Agenda for Digital Politics, is available in hardback and electronic forms at: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/a-research-agenda-for-digital-politics-9781789903089.html From this site you can look inside the book to review the preface, list of contributors, the table of contents, and my introduction, which includes an outline of the … Continue reading Publication of A Research Agenda for Digital Politics

How People Look for Information about Politics

The following lists papers and work in progress flowing from our research, which began at MSU, and was funded by Google Inc., on how people get access to information about politics. It was launched when I was director of the Quello Center at Michigan State University, but continues with me and colleagues at Quello and … Continue reading How People Look for Information about Politics