The Internet’s Reluctant Sheriffs: Content moderation and political gatekeeping through Internet infrastructure
Below the visible aspects of social media and other Internet applications lies a vast infrastructure, where opaque companies and technologists exercise significant but rarely questioned power over the Internet. In this talk, recent OII-graduate Dr. Corinne Cath will outline some of the most pressing concerns regarding the role of these often opaque but crucial actors– The Internet’s reluctant sheriffs– as political gatekeepers and content moderators. Policy concerning Internet politics tends to focus on companies in the content business: social media companies, online retailers, and so on. But these companies would not function without the support of lower-layer infrastructure. Dr. Cath draws from their PhD research, which included three years of ethnographic fieldwork, to examine how the architects and engineers of the Internet’s infrastructure, negotiate these roles to discuss with the OII community how to further shape a comprehensive research agenda on infrastructural accountability.
About the speakers
Dr Corinne Cath-SpethOxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
Dr. Corinne Cath is a recent graduate of the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute for AI and Data Science. They’re a cultural anthropologist who study the politics of Internet infrastructure. You can learn more about their work at www.corinnecath.com or follow them on Twitter C__CS