In the latest episode of skeptechs, Nayana and I discuss Twitter, backlash to Ticketmaster, and reminisce on three years of our show.
Author: Josh Cowls
Monocle 24 appearance
In my latest round-up for Monocle 24’s morning show, I discuss the continued fallout from Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover as well as new regulation which could bring flying taxis closer to reality.
Quoted in the Financial Times
I’m quoted in this Financial Times article which discusses Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter and its effects on smaller rivals like Mastodon.
App store governance: implications, limitations, and regulatory responses
In this article, we analyse two case studies: the removals from app stores in 2021 of the fringe American social media app Parler and of the Russian opposition app Smart Voting. On the basis of this analysis, we identify three critical limitations for app store governance at present: Apple’s and Google’s dominance, the substantive opacity of their respective app store guidelines, and the procedural arbitrariness with which these guidelines are applied to specific cases. We then assess the potential efficacy of legislative proposals in the EU and US to intervene in this domain and conclude by offering some recommendations supporting more efficacious and socially responsible app store governance.
I have a new article with Jessica Morley and Luciano Floridi now published in Telecommunications Policy, which looks at the issues for app store governance raised by the removals of Parler and Smart Voting from app stores.
Constitutional metaphors: Facebook’s “Supreme Court” and the Legitimation of Platform Governance
A range of rhetorical devices have been used to simplify the complexities associated with the governance of online platforms. This includes “constitutional metaphors”: metaphorical allusions to traditional political concepts such as statehood, democracy, and constitutionalism. Here, we empirically trace the ascent of a powerful constitutional metaphor currently employed in the news media discourse on platform governance: characterizations of Facebook’s Oversight Board (OB) as a “supreme court.”
I have a new paper published open access in New Media and Society with Philipp Darius, Dominiquo Santistevan and Moritz Schramm, about Facebook’s “Oversight Board” and the depiction of it as a “Supreme Court”.
Appearance on the Monocle Globalist
I was on Monocle 24’s The Globalist programme this morning for another tech round-up, this time focused on tech stories related to Ukraine.
New article in Monocle Magazine’s anniversary issue
While social media’s incredible growth has fostered extraordinary new possibilities for human connection and creativity, it has also enabled – and at times even incentivised – a 21st century resurgence of extremism, disinformation, surveillance, and many other ills.
For the 15th anniversary issue of Monocle, I was commissioned to write a piece about the many changes to social media, and society, since 2007. The piece is now available in print and online.
Trump Central? App stores as a new front in the platform governance of Donald Trump
Trump’s transition from mainstream platform user to putative platform operator marks a watershed moment in the politics of platform governance. The launch of “Truth Social” brings to light a frequently underrated aspect of platform governance: how platform operators govern not only their own users, but also other platforms.
I have a new blog post at the OII discussing what the launch of Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” app may mean for platform governance going forward.
The 2020 Yearbook of the Digital Ethics Lab
In the midst of lockdowns and social distancing, the role of digital technology in society has become made ever more integral. For many of us, the lived experience of the pandemic would have been strikingly different even a decade ago without the affordances of the latest information and communication technology—even as digital divides persist within, and between, societies. Yet as digital technology “fades into the foreground” of everyday life, for both scholars and civil society at large it is necessary to engage even more robustly with the implications of such shifts.
I am pleased to say that the latest edition of the Digital Ethics Lab Yearbook, which Jessica Morley and I co-edited, is now in print. In our Introduction, we provide an overview of this year’s contributions.
Achieving a ‘Good AI Society’: Comparing the Aims and Progress of the EU and the US
Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) strategies, released by governments around the world, that seek to maximise the benefits of AI and minimise potential harms. This article provides a comparative analysis of the European Union (EU) and the United States’ (US) AI strategies and considers (i) the visions of a ‘Good AI Society’ that are forwarded in key policy documents and their opportunity costs, (ii) the extent to which the implementation of each vision is living up to stated aims and (iii) the consequences that these differing visions of a ‘Good AI Society’ have for transatlantic cooperation.
A new article by Huw Roberts, myself and colleagues, on conceptions of a “good AI society” for the EU and US, has been published in Science and Engineering Ethics.