Understanding online safety through metaphors: UK policymakers and industry discourses about the internet

Dekavalla, Marina (2021) Understanding online safety through metaphors: UK policymakers and industry discourses about the internet. Television and New Media. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1527-4764

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (616kB)
[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (375kB)

Abstract

This article explores how metaphors about what the internet is inform policymaker and industry discourses, when they propose solutions on internet safety. More specifically, it analyzes documents by key players in this debate during a period when the UK government proposed direct regulation of online harms. The study finds that policy documents construct the internet primarily as a “place” that is separate from offline experience; and to a smaller extent as a “tool” that can be abused if it falls in the wrong hands. The article argues that these constructions obscure any links between online and offline risk, and that they legitimize solutions which may not take into account the social roots of online harms. It also suggests that the discourses of policymakers and SNS companies differ in the degree of agency they attribute to users, indicating a discrepancy in their approaches as direct regulation is introduced in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2021 07:13
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 11:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/101643

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update