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[Commlist] CfP GIG-ARTS 2020: "Online Information Governance – More Expression, Less Freedom? "

Wed Jan 22 11:52:42 GMT 2020

*GIG-ARTS 2020 - The Fourth European Multidisciplinary Conference on
Global Internet Governance Actors, Regulations, Transactions and
7-8 May 2020, Vienna*
*Online Information Governance – More Expression, Less Freedom?
/Organised by:/
- Media Governance and Industries Research Lab & Jean Monnet Centre of
Excellence FreuDE / Universität Wien
- LIP6 Computer Science Research Lab / Sorbonne Université & Centre
National de la Recherche Scientifique

*/Call for Abstracts - Deadline: 9 February 2020
It is now 30 years since the invention of the World Wide Web, and over
fifteen years since the development of the interactive Web or also known
as Web2.0.  Online information and communication have never seemed
easier and more accessible to everyone, thanks to the mediation
of social networks, search engines, and other kinds of platforms and

With such capabilities “to seek, receive and impart information and
ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, freedom of speech
and freedom of the press should have grown to such an extent that some
of the utopian visions of full participatory democracy would have
appeared to be within our reach. At the very least, some of the
long-standing informational imbalances concerning information flow
globally, diversity of content and authors, and the accessibility of
accurate information would have been taken as a given framework against
which societies would have been called to solve problems and to look
after citizens’ well-being.

Paradoxically, the levels of freedom and freedom of expression, as
captured in global measuring instruments by a variety of institutions
and organisations, do not show the expected or desired advancement.
Rather there is evidence that freedom in societies and freedom of the
press deteriorate.

Ambitious goals of freedom to express one’s own identity and opinion at
the global public sphere on an equal basis and free from fear of
retaliation or misuse evaporate for many, such as those subjected to
hate speech, those persecuted by autocratic authorities and the great
majority of citizens whose personal data become de facto ownership of
private companies.

Misinformation, spread not only by politically extreme groups but also
by “normal”, mainstream parties in the (desperate or calculated) attempt
to influence voters, can undermine the quality and freedom of global
debate. Information conflict thus becomes even more an object of state
rivalry and diplomacy, but also the tool for the erosion of citizenship
as the utmost form of participation in the commons. These phenomena are
coupled with the fact that even values once considered unquestionable,
such as the value of independent journalism, the value of human rights
such as privacy and dignity, are being challenged.

The technological capabilities allowed the world over to express and
share information and opinions, to connect and form alliances. However,
they have also enabled the spread of misinformation, have been
undermining the human right to privacy on digital communication
channels, subjected vulnerable groups to more vulnerability, and
provided for economic models putting at stake the fundamental pillars of
democracy. Within this context, policies governing the fate of users’
data, citizens’ freedoms and the integrity of content have fallen short
of helping pave the path to the desired communication
environment. Regulatory responses capturing communication and
information have oscillated between forms of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to
resist any attempt to provide for the normative standards of content and
a tendency to securitise communication as a matter of national security.

Importantly, critics argue that even where governance has allowed for
more democratic processes in raising concerns and suggesting solutions,
the gaps in connecting the dots are glaring. If governance refers to the
role of ideas and principles, the role of actors and the processes of
negotiation and solution, it is urgent to return, on the one hand, to
the basic and fundamental rights questions and take stock of the
achievements of hitherto frameworks. On the other hand, it seems
crucial to interrogate what futures exactly are current policy
frameworks shaping, especially in relation to a politics of care for
young citizens and hence the future generations?

After having addressed global internet governance as a diplomacy
issue at its first edition held in Paris in 2017, how to
overcome inequalities in internet governance at the second edition held
in Cardiff in 2018, and the role of Europe in the global governance
of the internet at its third edition held in Salerno in 2019, this
year’s GIG-ARTS conference turns its attention to the governance
of online information, to address the relation of citizens to
the quality of content online as an often neglected area of regulation
and governance of the internet. In that respect, the conference
continues the conversation on internet governance turning its
attention from institutions and structural factors to the role of
content and misinformation as an object of governance, and to internet
users as forces of change. GIG-ARTS is inviting you to this conversation
to help shape the debate of what kinds of futures might be desirable and
envisioned in the process of internet governance, who and which actors
might be most suitable to help shape such governance goals and
under which conditions might these be achieved.

Hence, in addition to general internet governance issues and
topics, submissions are particularly welcome on the following
possible areas of investigation:
- The governance of fundamental freedoms online between global
platforms, conflicts of jurisdictions and extraterritorial legislation
- The role of European and global institutions in shaping the conditions
of free expression online
- Responsibility and liability of platforms and other intermediaries in
content regulation
- Restrictive regulation and the securitization of content
- Privacy, misinformation, democracy: challenges to internet governance
- Structural role of individual targeting, behavioural advertising and
other economic models of online platforms on the reshaping
of fundamental freedoms and democracy
- From nudging to manipulation: consequences on autonomy and human
- Successive copyright reforms and their impact on freedom of
expression, freedom of the press and democracy
- Changes in and challenges to journalism practice through intentional
- Governance from below: how practices and principles by civil society
aim to shape the conditions of technology for the advancement of
democracies and human well-being
- Youth and access to information; news and misinformation in the online
world; the purpose of thinking towards the future

*/Submission Information and Publication Opportunities
/*Authors are invited to submit their extended abstracts (no longer than
500 words), describing their research
question(s), theoretical framework, approach and methodology, expected
findings or empirical outcome. Submitted abstracts will be evaluated
through a peer-review process.
Abstracts and authors’ information should be submitted through the
Easychair conference management system at:
*Authors of selected submissions will have the opportunity to submit
their full manuscript for publication.

*/Key dates/*
Deadline for abstract submissions: 9 February 2020
Notification to authors: 19 March 2020
Programme publication: 9 April 2020
Conference dates: 7 & 8 May 2020

*/GIG-ARTS 2020 Co-Chairs
/*- Meryem Marzouki (LIP6, CNRS & Sorbonne Université, France)
- Katharine Sarikakis (Media Governance and Industries Research Lab &
Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence FreuDE, University of Vienna, Austria)

*/GIG-ARTS 2020 Scientific Programme Committee
/*- Francesco Amoretti (University of Salerno, Italy)
- Wolfgang Benedek (University of Graz, Austria)
- Eric Brousseau (Université Paris Dauphine, France)
- Andrea Calderaro (Cardiff University, United Kingdom)
- Jean-Marie Chenou (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)
- Loreto Corredoira y Alfonso (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
- Wolfgang Hofkirchner (The Institute for a Global Sustainable
Information Society, Austria)
- Matthias C. Kettemann (Leibniz Institute for Media Research |
Hans-Bredow-Institut, Germany)
- Joanna Kulesza (University of Lodz, Poland)
- Nanette S. Levinson (American University Washington DC, USA)
- Ursula Maier-Rabler (University of Salzburg, Austria)
- Robin E. Mansell (London School of Economics, United Kingdom)
- Meryem Marzouki (CNRS and Sorbonne Université, France)
- Trisha Meyer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
- Michèle Rioux (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)
- Mauro Santaniello (University of Salerno, Italy)
- Katharine Sarikakis (University of Vienna, Austria)
- Yves Schemeil (Sciences Po Grenoble, France)
- Ingrid Schneider, University of Hamburg, Germany
- Jan Aart Scholte (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

/*The conference will be held at the Concordia Press Club, in the heart
of Vienna (

*/Conference Registration and Fees/*
Registration fees are 100€ for regular participants and 50€ for students
showing proof of status. The conference fees include a participant kit
as well as coffee breaks and meals.

*/GIG-ARTS 2020 Communication Details/*
- Website: <>
- Email for information: (events /at/ <mailto:(events /at/>
- Submissions:
- Twitter: @GigArtsEU - Hashtag: #GIGARTS20
- Mailing list for updates:

Nico Carpentier
New MA program on Media and Area Studies
New special issue:
Rescuing Participation
Charles University in Prague
Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism
Smetanovo nábřeží 6, 110 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Free University of Brussels
& Uppsala University
An intersection of academia and arts
The Commlist
International Association for Media and Communication Research
Participatory Communication Research Section
E-mail (CharlesU): (nico.carpentier /at/
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