17 March 2017

Special issue ‘Platform Values’ Association of Internet Research conference 2016 published

Dr Koen Leurs (Gender Studies) co-edited a special issue of the renowned journal Information, Communication & Society. The issue features research from the annual Association of Internet Research (AoIR) conference.

Interdisciplinary internet research

Marking a decade of exciting interdisciplinary internet research, this is the 10th Information, Communication and Society special issue that features research generated by the annual AoIR conferences. This issue consists of eight provocative articles selected from #AoIR2016, the 17th annual conference, held at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany from 5–8 October 2016. The #AoIR2016 conference theme 'Internet Rules!' invited participants to address the complex interplay of digital technologies, business models and user practices.

Dr. Koen Leurs. Foto: Ivar Pel
Dr. Koen Leurs

Internet rules or ruled by internet?

For some, the Internet rules! Others are ruled by the internet. Reflecting the emergent focus during the conference, this special issue addresses the Internet as a set of connected platforms that have various technical, social, cultural, political and figurative meanings, and seeks to understand rules as a set of normative values. Offering a primer on platform values, the contributions share a commitment to social justice, offer innovative theoretical interventions and empirically ground the workings of platform values from various scholarly perspectives. They show how normative digitally networked technologies are mutually shaped by top-down decisions such as the profit-oriented workings of algorithms that differentially value some users over others and bottom-up user practices that both sustain and subvert value-laden mechanisms.