An ISP White Paper Series in collaboration with the Knight Foundation
Uniformity and Fragmentation in the Digital Public Sphere
About Knight Foundation-sponsored Digital Public Sphere White Paper series
The impact of online platforms and new technology on public discourse and the law are among the most pressing and consequential issues democracies face today. In the last two decades, we have moved beyond techno-utopian visions of the internet as an unregulated space to an appreciation of the ways the law, markets and social practices enable the platform economy. The threats that digital platforms and surveillance technology pose to individual rights and the social fabric give rise to numerous questions: How should we understand the structure and design of digital networks? To what extent should, or can, the government regulate these spaces? Is there adequate competition among the firms who provide digital services, and are their business models sustainable? Who is included and who is excluded from these spaces? Who should have the power to exclude and on what bases? When is surveillance and information collection permissible, and when is it pernicious? What are the signs of a healthy public sphere, and what are the symptoms of information disorder? How should we reform current law to meet the challenges of online platforms and new technology?
The Digital Public Sphere White Paper Series brings together scholars from a variety of backgrounds and diverse perspectives to contribute fresh thinking in this area. The Series Papers focus on how we should understand the effects of new technology on public discourse, law and society, and how these new technologies should be governed to achieve a more equitable, just and democratic digital public sphere.
Adam Posluns and Elettra Bietti, Founding Editors