Social Media platforms, Algorithm tools & Editorial responsibility

EditorialResponsibilityOn Tuesday August 30th (2016), it was reported that the German government had asked Facebook to remove hateful and illegal posts more quickly, as part of its corporate social responsibility. Social Media companies however are typically reluctant to be very proactive in their approach to such removal, preferring to rely on notifications from the users, because they do not want to be seen to edit the content that is shared since this might lead to them being labelled a publisher. The moment a social media company becomes a publisher it would become liable to media regulations and open to libel laws. This was also the position that Zuckerberg reaffirmed one day earlier during a Q&A in Italy where he said: “No, we’re a tech company, we’re not a media company,” Facebook builds “the tools, we do not produce any of the content.”

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Made in the EU with GDPR inside!

Qwant“Made in the EU with GDPR inside”, will this be the new label to look for when seeking a quality online service with reliable privacy guarantees?

On 27 April 2016 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) was passed and will come into effect on May 25th 2018. Despite various messages from national data protection authorities (e.g. the ICO) and the EU directorate general in charge of internet, DG Connect urging companies not to wait until the last minute to make sure their services are compliant, many are still not sure what exactly a GDPR compliant Terms of Service or Privacy policy might look like.

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Social media, what is it good for (when used as part of your work)?

Twitter_communicationThe POET (Public Outreach Engagement Tool) project is currently running a second round of interviews to map out how academics at the University of Nottingham are using social media in the context of public engagement, especially in regards to the Impact and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) agendas. We previously conducted one round of interviews with science researchers, and have held a workshop to think about what the output of this tool could look like. Our project is still at the stage where we are collecting information about how social media is used by academics as part of their working day – to what extent it is used, the feelings associated with using it, whether their motivations for using it are work related, and whether this tool would be useful for any current public engagement work.

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When AI goes to War: youth opinion, modern conflict, and autonomous weapons

robot 2Weaponisation of artificial intelligence (AI) presents one of the greatest ethical and technological challenges in the 21st century and has been described as the third revolution in warfare, after the invention of gunpowder and nuclear weapons. Despite the vital importance of this development for modern society, legal and ethical practices, and technological turning point, there is little systematic study of public opinion on this critical issue. This interdisciplinary project addresses this gap. Our objective is to analyse what factors determine public attitudes towards the use of fully autonomous weapons. To do this, we put the public at the center of the policy debate, starting with youth engagement in political and decision-making processes.

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CaSMa in the Conversation: Never read the terms and conditions? Here’s an idea that might protect your online privacy

Conversation_kitemarks_articleHave you ever actually read the terms and conditions before signing up to a website or ordering something online? These long, wordy documents are a form of consumer protection designed to make sure we are fully informed when we agree to an online contract. They are supposed to ensure we are making a conscious decision to sign up to a service with full knowledge of the consequences.

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CaSMa presenting POET at Social Media & Society 2016

SMSociety_poster_logoThe Social Media & Society conference series has been bringing together social media researchers annually since 2010. This year’s meeting in London (UK) was the first time it was held outside of Canada.  For CaSMa this offered an excellent opportunity to present the results of the work Andrew Moffat at the Horizon CDT did for our POET project. Follow these links for more information about Andrew’s project, poster he presented at SM&S 16 and the report he wrote about his work.

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EDPS Civil Society Summit

EDPS_new_logoOn June 16th we joined civil society organizations like Privacy International, the European Digital Rights association EDRi and various others for a half-day civil society summit organized by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). On the agenda were a brief overview of the “Big Issues in Privacy and Data Protection in 2016” by Joe MCNamee of EDRi followed by three one-hour sessions on “Implementation of the GDPR, consistency, flexibility, guidelines” introduced by Anna Fielder (Privacy International); “Reform of e-Privacy Directive: What’s at stake?” introduced by Prof. Ian Brown (Oxford Internet Institute); and “Necessity and proportionality and data protection” introduced by Ralf Bendrath (German Working Group on Data Retention and Digitale Gesellschaft).

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EuroDIG 2016

EuroDIG2016From June 8th to 10th we attended EuroDIG 2016, the annual Pan-European Dialogue on Internet Governance conference that was held in Brussels this year.

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Citizen-centric approaches to Social Media analysis

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