Society Meets Social Media: Canaries at the Coal Face of the Internet

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July 30th, 2015

Bill Dutton gave a keynote presentation for Social Media & Society 2015, an international conference held 27-29 July 2015 at the Rogers School of Management at Reyerson University, Toronto, Canada. An abstract, and links to the powerpoint and video of the talk are posted here.

Abstract

Legal and regulatory initiatives shaped by moral panics over social media are a microcosm of many general threats to the vitality of a free, open and global Internet. The belief is widespread that social media and related Internet developments are unstoppable and beyond the control of governments and regulators across the world. However, initiatives afoot to address increasingly vocal public support for ‘doing something’ about concerns ranging from cyber-bullying to privacy, are pushing politicians and regulators to bring traditional approaches to media regulation to bear on social media and the Internet. These initiatives are unlikely to accomplish their intended aims but could well undermine the vitality of social media and the larger ecology of the Internet. Several types of response are critical. First, academics and practionners need to come forward with a regulatory model that is purpose built for social media and related applications of the Internet. Secondly, educational efforts need to be prioritized to help children and others learn how to use social media in more ethical, safe and effective ways. Thirdly, social media need to be designed in ways that enable users to hold other users more socially accountable for their actions.

Slides for the Talk are on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/WHDutton/society-meets-social-media-at-reyerson2015

Video of the Talk: https://ryecast.ryerson.ca/12/watch/9167.aspx

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