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[Commlist] Call for Papers: International Communication Association Post-Conference 2020
Mon Nov 25 00:03:29 GMT 2019
*Digital Platform Regulation: Beyond Transparency and ‘Openness’*
/Tuesday 26th May, Gold Coast, Australia/
The last five years have seen a sea change in debates around regulation
of digital platforms. There is a growing view that nation-state
regulation is warranted to address public concerns about the market
power, lack of accountability and lack of transparency of the leading
tech giants. This symposium will bring together communications and media
policy and industry researchers to consider critical issues around
digital platform regulation.
*Date: *Tuesday 26^th May, 2020
*Location:* Function Room – G42_4.23, Griffith University Gold Coast
Campus, 1 Parklands Drive, Southport, Gold Coast (venue accessible from
Broadbeach via G-Link light rail).
*Institutional sponsors:* Queensland University of Technology Digital
Media Research Centre, University of Sydney Department of Media and
Communication, Griffith University Centre for Social and Cultural
Research, and the Australian Research Council.
*ICA division affiliations: *Communications Law and Policy Division, and
the Media Industries Interest Group of the ICA
*Post-Conference Organizers: *Professor Terry Flew (Queensland
University of Technology), Dr. Fiona Martin (University of Sydney) and
Dr. Rosalie Gillett (Queensland University of Technology).
*Link to website:
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 inquiries 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). Leading scholars have identified digital platforms as
being central to 21^st century communication and media policy (Just &
Puppis, 2018; Picard & Pickard, 2017), and debates about the
relationship between individual rights and social responsibilities for
digital platforms have been noticeably shifting from the
quasi-libertarian logics of only a decade ago (Gillespie, 2018).
At the same time, there is a lack of consensus about what digital
platform regulation could, or should involve. It is unclear, for
instance, whether it should involve a refining of existing forms of
communications and media policy to incorporate the role now played by
digital platforms as quasi-publishers of increasingly popular digital
media content, or whether the principal issues such as monopoly power
and consumer protection are best addressed by variants of economic
policy e.g. proposals to treat digital platforms as ‘information
fiduciaries’ in their handling of user data (Balkin, 2018; Dobkin,
2018). The balance between nation-state regulation and supranational
governance is also a subject of considerable debate, as is the extent to
which ‘soft law’, and platform-brokered arrangements such as the Twitter
Trust & Safety Council and the proposed Facebook Oversight Board may
substitute for nation-state regulation. At a time of growing tensions
among leading world powers, the divergence between forms of internet
governance, and the possibility of a global ‘splinternet’ also needs to
be considered (Mueller, 2017).
This post-conference forms a part of ongoing work being undertaken by
Professor Terry Flew (Queensland University of Technology), Professor
Nicolas Suzor (Queensland University of Technology ), Dr. Fiona Martin
(University of Sydney), Associate Professor Tim Dwyer (University of
Sydney), Professor Philip Napoli (Duke University), Professor Josef
Trappel (University of Salzburg), Dr. Rosalie Gillett (Queensland
University of Technology), and Lucy Sunman (University of Sydney) as
part of a three-year Australian Research Council Discovery Project,
Platform Governance: Rethinking Internet Regulation as Media Policy
(Australian Research Council Discovery-Project DP190100222 – 2019-2021).
Sandra Braman, Texas A&M University
Stuart Cunningham, Queensland University of Technology
Tim Dwyer, University of Sydney
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
Ramon Lobato, RMIT University
Sora Park, University of Canberra
Victor Pickard, University of Pennsylvania
Nicolas Suzor, Queensland University of Technology
Josef Trappel, University of Salzburg
Krisztina Rozgonyi, University of Vienna
Dwayne Winseck, Carleton University
*Call for papers:*
We invite submissions relating to current platform governance debates.
Possible topics include:
* The relationship between digital platforms and traditional media
* Platformization of the Internet and its implications for online
speech and digital content regulation
* Public interest rationales for regulation in an age of digital
* The economics of digital platforms and questions of market power in
* Applicability of media and communications laws, policies and
regulations to digital platforms
* Comparative international studies of digital platform regulations
* Divergence in digital media policies and the prospects of a global
* Models of regulation, including self-regulation, co-regulation and
‘soft law’, and their applicability to digital platforms
* Questions of trust relating to digital platform regulation
* Implications of populist politics for digital platform regulation.
*Submission and participation details:*
We invite authors to submit abstracts of 300-500 words addressing
conference objectives. We are particularly interested in diverse
international and comparative perspectives on these topics. Please make
sure you include a title for your abstract. Abstracts will be
automatically excluded that are poorly written, or do not address the
themes of the post-conference. Abstract submissions will be reviewed and
final decisions communicated by January 15^th , 2020.
For any enquiries and to submit your extended abstract, please email Dr.
Rosalie Gillett at (digitalplatformregulation /at/ qut.edu.au)
<mailto:(digitalplatformregulation /at/ qut.edu.au)>.
*Closing date for abstracts:* Friday, December 20, 2019.
*Author notifications: *Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
*Registration opens: *Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
*Registration deadline:* Thursday, April 30, 2020.
*ICA 2020 conference:* 21-25 May, 2020
*Digital Platform Regulation Post-Conference:* Tuesday 26 May 2020
Publication outcomes under consideration include a special issue of the
journal /Global Perspectives/ on “Trust in the Digital Economy”, to be
edited by Terry Flew and Sora Park, and a possible edited book.
The registration fees for the post-conference will be $US50 for those in
full-time academic positions from Tier A countries, and $US30 those from
Tier B and C countries, graduate students, and those in employment
exception positions (adjunct, sessional and part-time positions). The
registration fees will cover refreshments for two breaks and lunch.
Information on ICA Country Tiers can be found at
All attendees will need to create an ICA profile in order to register.
We also expect that all presenters will attend the post-conference event
for the full day. Speakers are expected to register for the event unless
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