Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

I'm delighted to introduce my new working paper 'Algorithms patrolling content: where's the harm?An empirical examination of Facebook shadow bans and their impact on users.



The paper reveals how the Facebook shadow ban works by blocking dissemination of content in News Feed. This is Facebook’s  recommender system that curates content for users, and is also the name of the algorithm 

 that encodes the process.  The paper investigates shadow bans experienced by 20 UK Facebook Pages, that were 'ghosted' or 'hidden' for varying lengths of time, with no possibility to appeal. The findings raise questions about how to balance  freedom of expression against other rights in the online context. 

This is a very different approach from my previous research, because it involves data analysis of Facebook Pages, and goes  'under the bonnet' to look at how Facebook operates from the user's perspective.  For me, it has been an amazing journey,  working with users and trying to unravel what is happening to them from behind the scenes. The outcomes suggest that an up-ending of the current policy approach is needed  - we must move away from a model based on the old media systems, that just looks at what's on the surface, and develop an understanding of how these platforms really operate.  

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.


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