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Free Speech, Regulation, and Democracy in the Digital Age

Free Speech, Regulation, and Democracy in the Digital Age

Following the assumption that the IT-blog sphere represents an avant-garde of technologically- and socially-interested experts, Jens Pohlmann and researchers at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities present a research platform to investigate IT-blogs’ impact on public discussion of matters situated at the intersection of technology and society. Using text and metadata from about 400 IT-blogs from Germany and the U.S. (IT-Blog corpus), we can now study and compare IT-blog sphere discussions of digital policy with the discourses of traditional media settings (newspaper corpus) and policy discussions (policy corpus). Digital Humanities research methods such as assisted close reading, distant reading processes, and the analysis of communication and reference networks will allow for investigations regarding free speech issues, privacy laws, upload filters, AI, or copyright legislation in the digital age. Our goal is to identify the most influential stakeholders in each respective subfield, their communication strategies, and the arguments they bring forward in order to bridge the divide between Germany and the U.S. in matters of digital policy.

Primary Investigators: