Moral panics over the Internet and examining our ‘fifth estate’

Posted on: April 12, 2011

Bill Dutton of the Oxford Internet Institute here highlights moral panics over the Internet and an absence of research into the real implications of the  ‘fifth estate,’ which is:

“enabling people to network with other individuals and with information, services and technical resources in ways that support social accountability in business, industry, government, politics and media.”

Such research may take the form, for example, as suggested at the bottom of my thesis (PDF), of empirical research into issue networks online, including consideration of the commercial structures of sites at each node.

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