Building on our meeting with Jodie Ginsberg on the Tuesday 4 June, the GEG Oxford proposes to develop the discussion about information and censorship from a geopolitical angle.
Needless to say that social media have drastically shuffled our ways to talk about politics but also to do politics. Platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter claim they connect people from everywhere on the surface of the globe: but they are “universal“ in appearance only. Cultural and political differences recreate new forms of digital exchanges and conflicts (amongst which the ‘meme‘ is perhaps one of the greatest examples).
In addition, legislations around the world show that several internets currently co-exist uneasily. The European Commission envisages a “bourgeois” internet, where trolling and bad behaviour are minimized and privacy protected, possibly at the cost of innovation. Many nations, perhaps most notably China, see an authoritarian internet, where technologies of surveillance and identification help ensure social cohesion and security by combatting crime, terrorism, extremism and deviance. A more commercial view, characteristic of the US Republicans, understands online resources as private property, whose owners can monetize them, exclude others from using them and seek market rates for their use.
More insidiously, the said platforms are getting ahead of all those policies by crafting their own protocols, especially regarding the regulation of ‘hate speech‘ and ‘fake news‘. But the ban of several public figures raises multiple questions: is there a whiff of political censorship in the air?
Join us on Tuesday 4 June for our meeting with Jodie Ginsberg, the CEO of the UK-based freedom of expression organization Index on Censorship to discuss these questions and more.
No debate experience or political background is necessary. We value diversity of perspectives and opinions.