Critique, Democracy, and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society: Towards Critical Theories of Social Media
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This conference provides a forum for the discussion of how to critically study social media and their relevance for critique, democracy, politics and philosophy in 21st century information society.
We are living in times of global capitalist crisis. In this situation, we are witnessing a return of critique in the form of a surging interest in critical theories (such as the critical political economy of Karl Marx, critical theory, etc) and revolutions, rebellions, and political movements against neoliberalism that are reactions to the commodification and instrumentalization of everything. On the one hand there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mobile Internet, etc) have caused rebellions and uproars in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, which brings up the question to which extent these are claims are ideological or not. On the other hand, the question arises what actual role social media play in contemporary capitalism, power structures, crisis, rebellions, uproar, revolutions, the strengthening of the commons, and the potential creation of participatory democracy. The commodification of everything has resulted also in a commodification of the communication commons, including Internet communication that is today largely commercial in character. The question is how to make sense of a world in crisis, how a different future can look like, and how we can create Internet commons and a commons-based participatory democracy.
This conference deals with the question of what kind of society and what kind of Internet are desirable, what steps need to be taken for advancing a good Internet in a sustainable information society, how capitalism, power structures and social media are connected, what the main problems, risks, opportunities and challenges are for the current and future development of Internet and society, how struggles are connected to social media, what the role, problems and opportunities of social media, web 2.0, the mobile Internet and the ubiquitous Internet are today and in the future, what current developments of the Internet and society tell us about potential futures, how an alternative Internet can look like, and how a participatory, commons-based Internet and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable information society can be achieved.
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