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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Christian Fuchs and Daniel Trottier

This paper aims to present results of a study that focused on the question of how computer and data experts think about Internet and social media surveillance after Edward…

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2075

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present results of a study that focused on the question of how computer and data experts think about Internet and social media surveillance after Edward Snowden’s revelations about the existence of mass-surveillance systems of the Internet such as Prism, XKeyscore and Tempora. Computer and data experts’ views are of particular relevance because they are confronted day by day with questions about the processing of personal data, privacy and data protection.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted two focus groups with a total of ten experts based in London. As London is considered by some as the surveillance capital of the world, and has a thriving Internet industry, it provided a well-suited context.

Findings

The focus group discussions featured three topics that are of crucial importance for understanding Internet and social media surveillance: the political economy surveillance in general; surveillance in the context of the Snowden revelations; and the question what the best political reactions are to the existence of a surveillance-industrial complex that results in political and economic control of the Internet and social media. The focus groups provided indications that computer and data experts are pre-eminently informed on how Internet surveillance works, are capable of critically assessing its implications for society and have ideas about on what should be done politically.

Originality/value

Studies of privacy and surveillance after Edward Snowden’s revelations have taken on a new dimension: Large-scale covert surveillance is conducted in a collaborative endeavour of secret services, private communications corporations and security companies. It has become evident that a surveillance-industrial Internet surveillance complex exists, in which capitalist communications and security corporations and state institutions collaborate.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Nikos Smyrnaios

Abstract

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Internet Oligopoly
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-197-1

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Per Fors and Jolanda van Rooijen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of information and communication technology (ICT) for promoting environmental sustainability in a changing society…

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1723

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of information and communication technology (ICT) for promoting environmental sustainability in a changing society. Isolated studies exist, but few take a holistic view. Derived from a Marxian tradition, the authors propose Ecological World Systems Theory (WST) as a holistic framework to assess the environmental impact of ICT. The theory is adapted responding to theoretical critiques of absence of change, namely state-centrism and structuralism.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical study. Empirical examples derived from already published literature.

Findings

Ecological WST focuses on the unequal distribution of environmental degradation, sees technological development as a zero-sum game rather than cornucopia and holds that technology is often seen as a fetish in today ' s society. The findings are that popular discourses on ICT and sustainability are since the 1990s becoming increasingly cornucopian, while conditions in the ICT value chain are less cornucopian.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical contributions to Marxian critiques of ICT, with more environmental focus than earlier Marxian critiques, for example Fuchs’ work. Develop a theoretical framework for ICT and sustainability which could be compared with works of e.g. Hilty, Patrignani and Whitehouse. The work is mostly based on existing empirical studies, which is a limitation.

Practical implications

This theoretical framework implies that unequal environmental degradation in different parts of the world should be taken into account when assessing environmental impact, for example by means of LCA.

Social implications

The framework brings together questions of environmental effects of ICT and global justice.

Originality/value

The authors apply a rarely discussed theoretical framework to ICT and environmental sustainability. By doing this the authors suggest how the discourses and the value chain of ICT is intrinsically tied to the world system.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

This chapter deals with the question: What is a conspiracy theory? It provides a concept of conspiracy theories and situates conspiracy theories in the context of COVID-19.

Abstract

This chapter deals with the question: What is a conspiracy theory? It provides a concept of conspiracy theories and situates conspiracy theories in the context of COVID-19.

In order to understand how COVID-19 conspiracy theories work, one requires a theoretical concept of conspiracy theories. The developed understanding is especially grounded in Frankfurt School critical theory. Section 2 of this chapter works out a critical theory concept of conspiracy theories. Section 3 is an introduction to the communication of COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

Details

Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

Abstract

Details

Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

This chapter asks: How has Donald Trump communicated about COVID-19 on Twitter? How have conspiracy theories influenced his Twitter communication about COVID-19? Utilising…

Abstract

This chapter asks: How has Donald Trump communicated about COVID-19 on Twitter? How have conspiracy theories influenced his Twitter communication about COVID-19? Utilising critical discourse analysis, it analysed tweets in which Trump communicated about COVID-19 and showed that he used social media to spread conspiracy theories and fake news about COVID-19.

The findings show that Donald Trump uses social media such as Twitter for spreading far-right ideology, conspiracy theories and fake news. He makes use of a variety of linguistic ideological devices. In the context of COVID-19, Trump has spread a variety of conspiracy theories to his millions of followers, which has contributed to the intensification of risks and harms at the time of the worst global health crisis in 100 years.

Details

Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

This chapter draws conclusion from the analyses presented in the preceding chapters.Everyday life and everyday communication have undergone large changes in the pandemic…

Abstract

This chapter draws conclusion from the analyses presented in the preceding chapters.

Everyday life and everyday communication have undergone large changes in the pandemic crisis. The conclusion asks in what kind of society we want to live and how we want to communicate in the future. It poses the question of what kind of Internet we want and need in the future in post-pandemic times. Commontopia is presented as the potential future of communication and society.

Details

Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

This chapter asks: How do Internet users react to COVID-19 conspiracy theories spread on social media? It presents the findings of a content analysis and critical…

Abstract

This chapter asks: How do Internet users react to COVID-19 conspiracy theories spread on social media? It presents the findings of a content analysis and critical discourse analysis of user comments collected from social media postings that advance COVID-19 conspiracy theories. A total of 2,847 comments made to seven social media postings whose authors support COVID-19 conspiracy theories were collected, coded and analysed.

The analysis shows the contested character of the communication of COVID-19 conspiracy theories and the role of the friend/enemy scheme, verbal attacks, violent threats, satire and humour in such communication processes.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Christian Fuchs and Wolfgang Hofkirchner

The main purpose of this paper is to consider knowledge production as a social self‐organization process, to clarify ethical implications of such an approach, and to…

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1928

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to consider knowledge production as a social self‐organization process, to clarify ethical implications of such an approach, and to relate it to the thinking of Heinz von Foerster.

Design/methodology/approach

The method employed is the one of dialectical constructions, i.e. existing contradicting approaches on knowledge research are identified and classified and a constructive synthesis of these approaches is made.

Findings

Since Heinz von Foerster's pioneering work, information‐generating systems are considered to be self‐organizing systems. We see knowledge as only a particular kind of information: it is the manifestation of information in the social realm. Thus, the creation of social information is due to the self‐organization of social systems. Heinz von Foerster has given us some indications of how knowledge and self‐organization could be applied to society. In this paper, we try to sketch a position of our own while taking into consideration Heinz von Foerster's relevant ideas.

Practical implications

The research results in this paper imply that a knowledge‐based society can only survive if it is designed in a participatory and socially and ecologically sustainable way. Hence a practical implication is that participation and co‐operation need to be advanced in order to guarantee human development.

Originality/value

The innovative aspect of the paper is that it suggests that all social self‐organizing systems are knowledge‐producing systems and that considering knowledge as a co‐operative process implies responsibility for solving the global social problems. It combines knowledge research and systems thinking based on ideas on self‐organization by Heinz von Foerster in order to describe social systems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

Abstract

Details

Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

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