Title: Networks of governance: users, platforms, and the challenges of networked media regulation

Authors: Kate Crawford; Catharine Lumby

Addresses: Microsoft Research, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, 02142, USA; MIT Center for Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building E15-344, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA ' Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Sydney, Australia

Abstract: We conducted a study of Australia's media content regulation system in the context of three major Federal Government reviews of media law and policy (ALRC, 2012; Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, 2012b; Finkelstein, 2012). The current system understands governance as the work of government and industry, and either minimises or overlooks the role of users, the context of platforms, and the scope of participation. In this article, we assess the weaknesses in the current framework, and look both critically and pragmatically at the role users can play in media content governance. By drawing on the Australian situation as a case study, we consider the wider problem of governance within networked media spaces and the tensions between users, industry, nation states, and platforms. Finally, we argue for the development of stronger theoretical model of 'civic media governance', based on principles of radical pluralism that can better account for dissent and dissonance.

Keywords: civic media governance; social media; online media; media users; participatory democracy; networked media regulation; Australia; media content regulation; platforms; public participation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTPL.2013.057008

International Journal of Technology Policy and Law, 2013 Vol.1 No.3, pp.270 - 282

Published online: 19 Jul 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article