‘Collaborative Governance’ of Online Speech in the Age of Platforms
It is now well-accepted that digital media platforms are not merely information intermediaries, but also central control points of the Internet. They have become the so-called 'deciders' and 'custodians' of online speech, leading to the privatization of Internet governance.
In China, domestic platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, and Toutiao have become the mediators, gatekeepers, and governors of online news and information. They are not only cooperating but collaborating with the Chinese state in Internet governance guiding and controlling public opinion.
In this workshop, Ms Wang Jufang, who is a PhD candidate at Warwick University and former vice-director of news of CRI Online (a Chinese central news website), will make a presentation based on her research on the implications of Chinese platforms for the state’s public opinion control. She will argue for a state–platform 'collaborative governance' model in relation to public opinion control in China.
Given that Western governments also rely on private platforms to tackle issues like online hate speech, misinformation, and political or terrorism propaganda, the question is whether a 'collaborative governance' model is viable in Western contexts?
The workshop will gather together a number of academics working in relevant areas to discuss this current and important topic (information about other participants is to be confirmed and updated).
Wang Jufang, PhD candidate in Media and Communication, Warwick University, and former vice-director of news of CRI Online
Denis Galligan, Emeritus Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and Director of Programmes, Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford