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The gentrification of the internet

This is an essay about technology, power relations and basic dignity.  It is about the commercialization of online platforms and the difficulties of retaining individual power and autonomy online.  It is about the gentrification of the internet. When I call the internet gentrified, I’m describing shifts in power and control that limit what we can do online. I’m […]

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There’s a reason that misleading claims of bias in search and social media enjoy such traction.

President Trump’s tweets charging that Google search results are biased, against him and against conservatives, are the loudest and latest version of a growing attack on search engines and social media platforms. It is potent, and it’s almost certainly wrong. But it comes at an unfortunate time, just as a more thoughtful and substantive challenge […]

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Setting Goals by Morten Oddvik

The Trials of Media Research

Media research is a vexing enterprise. Trapped in the borderlands between social science and the humanities, the study of media and communication bears the liabilities of both. We have to contend with all the challenges that sociologists and literary scholars face: the subjective baggage of the analyst, her struggle to interpret unstable meanings, the strange […]

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Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

The Post-Program Era: The Rise of Internet & Society Centers—and a New Interdiscipline

If you’re into media and tech issues, tomorrow could be busy: Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center is hosting a talk on algorithms in policing. Later in the day, if you’re in New York, you could attend a Cornell Tech session on digital safety for domestic violence victims—the latest installment of the new campus’s Digital Life Seminar. […]

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Content moderation is not a panacea: Logan Paul, YouTube, and what we should expect from platforms

What do we expect of content moderation? And what do we expect of platforms? There is an undeniable need, now more than ever, to reconsider the public responsibilities of social media platforms. For too long, platforms have enjoyed generous legal protections and an equally generous cultural allowance, to be “mere conduits” not liable for what […]

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