Human Rights in the Age of Platforms

ISBN: 9780262039055 | Copyright 2019


Scholars from across law and internet and media studies examine the human rights implications of today's platform society.

Today such companies as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter play an increasingly important role in how users form and express opinions, encounter information, debate, disagree, mobilize, and maintain their privacy. What are the human rights implications of an online domain managed by privately owned platforms? According to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the UN Human Right Council in 2011, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence. But this goal is dependent on the willingness of states to encode such norms into business regulations and of companies to comply. In this volume, contributors from across law and internet and media studies examine the state of human rights in today's platform society.

The contributors consider the “datification” of society, including the economic model of data extraction and the conceptualization of privacy. They examine online advertising, content moderation, corporate storytelling around human rights, and other platform practices. Finally, they discuss the relationship between human rights law and private actors, addressing such issues as private companies' human rights responsibilities and content regulation.

Anja Bechmann, Fernando Bermejo, Agnès Callamard, Mikkel Flyverbom, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Molly K. Land, Tarlach McGonagle, Jens-Erik Mai, Joris van Hoboken, Glen Whelan, Jillian C. York, Shoshana Zuboff, Ethan Zuckerman

Open access edition published with generous support from Knowledge Unlatched and the Danish Council for Independent Research.

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Contents (pg. v)
Series Editor’s Introduction (pg. vii)
Foreword (pg. xi)
Acknowledgments (pg. xv)
Introduction (pg. xvii)
I Datafication (pg. 1)
1 “We Make Them Dance”: Surveillance Capitalism, the Rise of Instrumentarian Power, and the Threat to Human Rights (pg. 3)
2 Digital Transformations, Informed Realities, and Human Conduct (pg. 53)
3 Data as Humans: Representation, Accountability, and Equality in Big Data (pg. 73)
4 Situating Personal Information: Privacy in the Algorithmic Age (pg. 95)
II Platforms (pg. 117)
5 Online Advertising as a Shaper of Public Communication (pg. 119)
6 Moderating the Public Sphere (pg. 137)
7 Rights Talk: In the Kingdom of Online Giants (pg. 163)
III Regulation (pg. 189)
8 The Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors (pg. 191)
9 The Council of Europe and Internet Intermediaries: A Case Study of Tentative Posturing (pg. 227)
10 The Privacy Disconnect (pg. 255)
11 Regulating Private Harms Online: Content Regulation under Human Rights Law (pg. 285)
Contributors (pg. 317)
Index (pg. 321)