New business models have emerged around social media platforms and regulatory frameworks are struggling to keep up. On social media you can stream your entertainment (e.g. content creators) and purchase goods or services advertised natively on the platform (e.g. through platform ads or influencer marketing) and offered through new social commerce affordances (e.g. Twitter Shops, YouTube live shopping, Instagram Checkout).
The current social media ecosystem is ripe with tensions emerging around the platformization of cultural labor, where content creators are a newly crystalized category of attention aggregators. From a legal perspective, a wide range of the legal issues resulting from the creator economy remain understudied, such as the impact of hidden/native advertising on consumer behavior or elections. At the same time, upcoming regulation such as the Digital Services Act is expected to have a major impact on this sector due to new transparency obligations and enforcement powers granted to national and European authorities.
Against such a background, this workshop stages a dialogue between social media studies and law, aimed at better understanding the emerging tensions and potential harms for the more vulnerable stakeholders in this ecosystem, namely content creators, particularly those engaging in influencer marketing, and consumers.
09:15-10:35 Audiences as commodities
- Chair: Karin van Es (Utrecht University)
- Daniel Joseph (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘Delivering People’
- Catalina Goanta (Utrecht University), ‘The social media shop’
- Discussant: David Nieborg (University of Toronto Scarborough)
10:35-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-12:05 Influencer perspectives: pain points and strategies
- Chair: Anne Kustritz (Utrecht University)
- Zoë Glatt (London School of Economics and Political Science), ‘The commodified self: Intimacy, monetisation and inequality in the influencer industry’
- Sophie Bishop (Sheffield University), ‘UK Parliament inquiry into influencer culture’
- Discussant: Bram Duivenvoorde (Utrecht University)
12:05-12:15 Coffee break
12:15-13:00 Social media and public values – panel discussion
- Start date and time
- End date and time
- Hybrid: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21 & Online on Microsoft Teams