Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] CFP Special Collection for the Communication and Media Section of Global Perspectives on “Trust and Digital Platforms”

Wed Aug 14 12:10:57 GMT 2019

*Call for papers*

Special Collection for the Communication and Media Section of /Global Perspectives/ on “Trust and Digital Platforms”

*Estimated Timeline*

1 December 2019 - 500-word abstracts

  * Please submit abstracts to Terry Flew ((t.flew /at/
    <mailto:(t.flew /at/>) and Sora Park ((sora.park /at/
    <mailto:(sora.park /at/>)
1 February 2020 - notification of invitation to submit full papers (6000-8000 words)

1 August 2020 - submission of full papers

1 December 2020 - review process complete

1 May 2021 - publication of articles

*Trust and Digital Platforms*

As online activities and experiences are increasingly mediated through digital platforms, a series of scandals and ‘public shocks’ (Ananny & Gillespie, 2017)have raised concerns about privacy and security, the misuse of user data, algorithmic biases, and the public distribution of objectionable and sometimes abhorrent content through the internet (Flew, Martin, & Suzor, 2019). Legislators and regulators in many countries are now engaged in public enquiries and the development of new laws to apply public interest standards to digital platforms, as First Amendment arguments about freedom of online expression and claims that the platforms are simply intermediaries are increasingly under challenge (Napoli, 2019).

This special issue proposes to view such questions from the perspective of trust. International surveys have documented a decline in trust in social, political institutions over time, including rising distrust of the media (Edelman, 2019). Manifestations of declining public trust are variously seen in the rise of populist political movements (Norris & Ingelhart, 2019), concerns about ‘fake news’ and ‘deepfakes’ (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017), and scandals surrounding leading public institutions, from financial institutions and digital platform companies to political parties and religious organizations. Trust is a multifaceted concept, and important contributions have been made to the field from philosophy, political science, sociology and economics, as well as communication and media studies. To take one example, the concept of a public sphere rests upon an underlying degree of trust in journalists and the organizations involved in the production and distribution of news and information (Coleman, 2012).

Amidst talk about whether the concerns about the power of digital platforms and ‘surveillance capitalism’ (Zuboff, 2019)points towards ‘the end of trust’(McSweeney’s, 2019), this special issue poses questions such as:

·Do communication scholars have original insights into questions of trust, and how can they draw upon other fields of scholarship around trust issues?

·Is trust or distrust a concept that is empirically measurable? Are there lessons from earlier ‘social capital’ debates about how to understand relations of trust, and what is the relationship of digital technologies to trust issues?

·Can government regulation address the power of digital platforms and contribute to better relations of trust between platform users and providers? What lessons can be learnt from laws passed in other jurisdictions (e.g. European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, Germany’s Online Hate Speech laws, Singapore’s anti-Fake News laws)?

·Does the global and decentralized nature of such platforms necessitate that the lead be taken by non-governmental organizations, or that the solutions will be essentially technological in nature (e.g. a combination of blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies)?

·Is regulation of digital platforms best understood as being within the remit of communications policies, or are the most appropriate measures primarily related to economic policies, such as anti-trust and consumer protection laws, or by regarding digital platforms as ‘information fiduciaries’ (Balkin, 2018; Dobkin, 2018)?


Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. /Journal of Economic Perspectives/, /31/(2), 211–236.

Ananny, M., & Gillespie, T. (2017). Public platforms: Beyond the cycle of shocks and exceptions. /Interventions: Communication Research and Practice/. Presented at the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communications Association, San Diego, CA.

Balkin, J. (2018). Free Speech is a Triangle. /Columbia Law Review/, /118/, 2011–2055.

Coleman, S. (2012). Believing the News: From sinking trust to atrophied efficacy. /European Journal of Communication/, /27/(1), 35–45.

Dobkin, A. (2018). Information Fiduciaries in Practice: Data Privacy and User Expectations,. /Berkeley Technology Law Journal/, (33).

Edelman. (2019). /2019 Edelman Trust Barometer/. Retrieved from

Flew, T., Martin, F., & Suzor, N. P. (2019). Internet Regulation as Media Policy: Rethinking the question of digital communication platform governance. /Journal of Digital Media and Policy/, /10/(1), 33–50.

McSweeney’s. (2019). /The End of Trust/. San Francisco: McSweeney’s.

Napoli, P. (2019). What If More Speech Is No Longer the Solution? First Amendment Theory Meets Fake News and the Filter Bubble. /Federal Communications Law Journal/, /70/(1), 57–104.

Norris, P., & Ingelhart, R. (2019). /Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism/. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zuboff, S. (2019). /The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power/. New York: Hachette.



Please submit a 500-word abstract to Terry Flew ((t.flew /at/ <mailto:(t.flew /at/>) and Sora Park ((sora.park /at/ <mailto:(sora.park /at/>) before 1 December 2019.

The special collection will be published as part of the Communication and Media Section of the /Global Perspectives/ journal. The special issue will publish full paper submissions of 6,000-8,000 words. Publication guidelines can be found here <>.

*About the journal*

/Global Perspectives/(GP) is an online-only, peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal seeking to advance social science research and debates in a globalizing world, specifically in terms of concepts, theories, methodologies, and evidence bases. Work published in the journal is enriched by invited perspectives, through scholarly annotations, that enhance its global and interdisciplinary implications.

GP is devoted to the study of global patterns and developments across a wide range of topics and fields, among them trade and markets, security and sustainability, communication and media, justice and law, governance and regulation, culture and value systems, identities, environmental interfaces, technology-society interfaces, shifting geographies and migration.

GP sets out to help overcome national and disciplinary fragmentation and isolation.  GP starts from the premise that the world that gave rise to the social sciences in their present form is no more. The national and disciplinary approaches that developed over the last century are increasingly insufficient to capture the complexities of the global realities of a world that has changed significantly in a relatively short period of time.  New concepts, approaches and forms of academic discourse may be called for.

*About the Communication and Media Section of /Global Perspectives /*

Section Editor: Payal Arora, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The ‘global turn’ in communications, advances in mobile technologies and the rise of digital social networks are changing the world´s media landscapes, creating complex disjunctures between economy, culture, and society at local, national, and transnational levels. The role of traditional mass media - print, radio and television - is changing as well. In many cases, traditional journalism is declining, while that of user-generated content by bloggers, podcasters, and digital activists is gaining currency worldwide, as is the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on communication systems. Today, researchers find themselves at important junctures in their inquiries that require innovations in concepts, frameworks, methodologies and empirics. /Global Perspectives/ aims to be a forum for scholars from across multiple disciplines and fields, and the Communication and Media Section invites submissions on cutting-edge research on changing media and communication systems globally.

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