Introducing Week 3

In Week 1 and Week 2 we discussed the opportunities that the digital era opened up for the cultural world, but it is necessary also to point out the risks and vulnerabilities it might entail, which require new forms of regulation.

We will start by talking about cyber-threats. We will see that digital culture has brought about an immense proliferation of data and information that people share about their lives, and that individuals and companies store on a multitude of insufficiently secured devices. We will see how such practices represent a source of vulnerability.

Secondly, we will analyse the regulation challenges posed by the rise of digital platforms. As these new global cultural players manage to avoid paying corporate taxes and challenge the traditional organisation of cultural industries, the funding of culture is under threat. In addition, these players collect numerous personal data on their users and raise questions on the protection of citizens’ privacy. We will discuss how to better regulate these platforms.

Thirdly, we will tackle the threats that the digital revolution represents for media pluralism. Recently, there have been numerous scandals related to the influence of foreign countries in democratic elections. Many debates have risen on the problem of the spread of fake news and on the challenge of unregulated social media platforms that become sites of hate speech and of promotion of violence. We will discuss the regulation of freedom of expression online.

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This article is from the free online course:

Culture in the Digital Age

European University Institute (EUI)