There are many who challenge a focus on online freedom of expression. Various critics argue one or more of the following: That the Internet is not an important political tool – it is primarily an entertainment medium. Freedom of expression is not an argument for illegal downloading of music! Democratic rights are based on freedom of the press and assembly, but the Internet is not the press – driven by amateurs and not professional journalists – and clicktavism is not activism. Pressing a ‘Like’ button is not equivalent to being on the street in a protest or march. Another argument is that there is no need need to worry about Internet regulation and efforts to block political expression since it would be impossible. Example: Instagram: Google bought for $1B 551 days after it was set up. 1 billion photos uploaded, 5 million per day. Finally, an increasingly popular argument is that the Internet and related ICTs are a gift to autocrats, who can used these technologies to track who says what to whom. States can use the Internet to reinforce their control over the public.
5th Estate at Rhodes House-2012
Accountability in a Network Society: The Rise of a Fifth Estate William H. Dutton Professor of Internet Studies Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of OxfordPresentation for Integreon, Rhodes House, Oxford, 3 May 2012.
Online Freedom of Expression?1. Internet is not political, it is just entertainment;2. Internet is not the press, which is being threatened;3. Virtual assembly is not real: ‘clicktavism’ is not activism4. Inherently free, cannot be regulated5. Tool for autocracy, not democracy6. Internet enables democratic accountability
Empirical Research Foundations• Oxford Internet Surveys of Britain: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and World Internet Project (WIP)• The Global Values Project: OII in collaboration with INSEAD, comScore, and WEF• The Performance of Distributed Problem-Solving Networks (DPSN) Porject (2007-8)• The Oxford e-Social Science Project (OeSS), Economic and Social Research Council (2005-12)• The Fifth Estate Project, supported by the OII, Oxford Internet Surveys (2003-2012), and June Klein, Electronic Boardroom™
Reliability of Information by Internet Users and Non-Users 2009 (QA4 by QH14)OxIS 2009: N=2,013 8Note. The scale changed from a 10 point scale in 2007 to a 5 point scale in 2009.
Networked Institutions v Networked Individuals Networked Institutions, such as in e-Health Networked Individuals: going to the Internet for health and medical information networking patients, e.g., UK Children With Diabetes Advocacy Group (500 Families) networking physicians, e.g., Sermo
Arenas: Networked Institutions Networked IndividualsNews Online journalism, BBC Netizens, Citizen Online, Live Micro-Blogging Journalists, Bloggers, Whistleblowers, Leaks, Churnalism.org, Hacking BlacklashDemocracy E-Democracy, E- Obama campaign, Aung Consultation, e-Voting San Suu Kyi, Arab Springs, Anti-Bribery WebsitesEducation Online Learning, Multimedia Backchannels, Informal Classrooms Learning, Rate My TeacherHealth and Medical NHS Direct, e-mailing safety Going to the Internet for alerts health information, Sermo
The Fourth Estate“[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates inParliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder,there sat a Fourth Estate more prominent far thanthey all. It is not a figure of speech, or wittysaying; it is a literal fact – very momentous to usin these times.”Thomas Carlyle (1831), Heroes and Hero-Worship, at www.gutenberg.org.etext/1091
Feudal Estates into the 21st CenturyEstates Feudal Modern Clergy Public Intellectuals Nobility Business, Industry and Economic Elites, including Internet Industrial Elites Commons Government and Politicians‘4th Estate’ Press Journalists and the Mass Media Mob Civil Society, Networked Individuals, Mobs
Montesquieu’s Tripartite System into the 21st CenturyEstates Tripartite Modern US Parallel Courts Judiciary Monarch Executive Parliament Legislative‘4th Estate’ Press Journalists and the Mass Media Mob Civil Society, Networked Individuals, Mobs
The Fifth Estate Press since the 18th Century -the ‘Fourth Estate’ Internet in the 21st - enabling aFifth Estate−−Enabling people to network with other individualsand with information, services and technicalresources in ways that support social accountabilityin business and industry, government, politics, andthe media.
“Wael Ghonim, a 30-year-old executive from Google, was theadministrator of an anti-torture page on Facebook, the socialnetworking website, that is widely credited with organising the firstday of protest [in Egypt] on January 25.”Jon Swaine, The Telegraph, 11 Feb 2011
TIME 2011Person of the YearThe Protester-Mannoubia Bouazizi-Tunisia
Networked Institutions v Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate Networked Institutions: greater ubiquity,universal access Networked Individuals of the Fifth Estate:require a critical mass, not universal access
The Fourth Estate: News of the World, …The Fourth Estate Depends on an IndependentPress – Independent in Relation to Other Estates
18th Century Estates: 21st Century Enemies18th Century 21st Century: AttacksEstates Enemies of the 5th EstateClergy Public Intellectuals ‘Culture of Amateurism’, individualist consumerismNobility Business, Industry Vertical Integration; Monopoly and Economic Elites over Search; Three StrikesCommons Government and Filtering; Content Regulation; Regulatory Agencies Identification; Surveillance; Disconnection; Control PressPress Journalists and the Pay Walls, Co-opting, Mass Media Imitating, Competing, and SupportingMob Spammers, Undermining Trust and Fraudsters, Confidence; Fostering Regulation of Content, Cyberstalkers, Attacks on Anonymity Rioters…