Recent years have seen a significant increase in philanthropic support for digital rights, tech ethics, platform accountability, media freedom, and independent media. This boost, which typically comes from wealthy tech entrepreneurs, tech firms, or their non-profit spin-offs, easily competes with national investments in communication rights and justice and is taking place against the backdrop of increased attempts to rein in the power and influence of ‘Big Tech,’ on the one hand, and to assert digital sovereignty, on the other.
What are the stakes in the pursuit of communication rights and justice? Who are the different players, and what are, and should be, their respective roles, interests and constraints? Is collective resistance to Big Tech possible, and if so under what conditions and with what alternatives?
This stream invites contributions that assess changes in the balance of power between the state, market players, and non-state actors in shaping just and democratic communication infrastructures.
Possible areas of focus include:
- norms, values, and practices in advocacy and organizing for communication rights and justice
- path dependency in foundation-funded tech advocacy and organising
- tech philanthropy and public opinion of itrefusal and/or/versus reform of Big Tech
- the meaning and nature of ‘public interest’ technology