The Oxford Internet Institute is excited to welcome Dr Elsbeth Robson from the University of Hull for the Technology and Mobilities in Africa Seminar Series talk "Crossing Digital Divides?: Social Media, Children and Young People in Malawi, Africa".

New forms of connecting and networking via social media help maintain social ties with kin both near and far overcoming the tyranny of distance; as well as forging new connections, via Facebook and other social media, with strangers and distant others. This seminar draws on rich original empirical research conducted across Malawi to examine rural-urban variations in access to and use of social media, as well as differentiation by age, gender and educational level. Questions considered are: is social media use widening or bridging the digital divide? Whether social media use reflects (and possibly magnifies) existing social and spatial inequalities or transforms them? Particular focus is on the have nots in a highly stratified landscape of social media users while considering the varied uses of social media by children and young people in Malawi. While social media is rightly celebrated for its empowering impacts for young people and children, there are concerns about its misuse for ‘immoral’, criminal and abusive activities.