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.  



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.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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