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Such intermediaries are effectively gatekeepers are those who enable – and control – our access to that information, and this raises profound issues of principle about the role of intermediary gatekeepers in the structure of free speech […]. At present, such intermediary gatekeepers are all private entities, operating to their own rules, and it is not at all clear how they can be made accountable to their users or the wider public for their private actions. Given the practical, social and legal issues that arise in policing content in such a quasi-public sphere [see below for link], it has been argued that search engines and other intermediaries should have public interest obligations, perhaps by analogy with common law duties that govern public utilities [see below for link]. In particular, free speech norms should not only be about protecting speakers against a heavy-handed state but also about protecting speakers and readers against heavy-handed intermediate gatekeepers. This debate is now being played out online and on the op-ed pages of US news papers.

Such intermediaries are effectively gatekeepers are those who enable – and control – our access to that information, and this raises profound issues of principle about the role of intermediary gatekeepers in the structure of free speech […]. At present, such intermediary gatekeepers are all private entities, operating to their own rules, and it is not at all clear how they can be made accountable to their users or the wider public for their private actions. Given the practical, social and legal issues that arise in policing content in such a quasi-public sphere [see below for link], it has been argued that search engines and other intermediaries should have public interest obligations, perhaps by analogy with common law duties that govern public utilities [see below for link]. In particular, free speech norms should not only be about protecting speakers against a heavy-handed state but also about protecting speakers and readers against heavy-handed intermediate gatekeepers. This debate is now being played out online and on the op-ed pages of US news papers.

First, in the online world, where most of us access the internet through a range of intermediaries, government censorship does not necessarily need to target the disfavoured speech; it need only target the intermediaries. Very few US companies would feel able to decline a request like that from the White House, and Google are to be commended for standing firm in those circumstances. Second, these intermediaries now have a great deal of practical power over online expression‚ not only can they be co-opted by government as agents of state censorship but they also have the capacity to act as censors in their own rights, as Google did in their unilateral action to block access in the Middle East.

First, in the online world, where most of us access the internet through a range of intermediaries, government censorship does not necessarily need to target the disfavoured speech; it need only target the intermediaries. Very few US companies would feel able to decline a request like that from the White House, and Google are to be commended for standing firm in those circumstances. Second, these intermediaries now have a great deal of practical power over online expression‚ not only can they be co-opted by government as agents of state censorship but they also have the capacity to act as censors in their own rights, as Google did in their unilateral action to block access in the Middle East.

Lately, platforms, have experienced a significant use and growth. This study takes a critical media approach to exploring how the platform YouTube is an articulation of Web 2.0’s celebratory account of the individual in the digital and networked public sphere. In the thesis, a platform-based approach is followed to examine the socio-political structure of YouTube. In applying the concept of governmentality by Michel Foucault to the form and structure of the platform, ‘community’ is reconstituted as a ‘population’ that co-determines the wealth of the platform. The concept of platform mosaics is developed as an aesthetic metaphor to explain how the user is managed as a collective of individuals. The symbiotic interrelation between user and machine suggests how the new social relations in contemporary digital networked information society have not become more democratic, but that the individual has become homogenized. The mosaic is symbolic for the platform-user symbiosis and emerges as an unprecedented form of individualization mediated by the platform as a host for content distribution. The case study of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir and Natalie Bookchin’s Mass Ornament will function as an immanent critique of the platform to ground how the individual is governed as a collective of separate, homologous subjects.

Grand, and pretty interesting premise in this thesis – looking forward to reading this one.