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5th ICTs and Society Conference 2015: The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism? Perspectives for Critical Political Economy and Critical Theory.

Given that the information society and the study of information face a world of crisis today and are at a crossroads, also the future of the Internet and social media are in question. The 5th ICTs and Society Conference therefore wants to focus on the questions: What are the main challenges that the Internet and social media are facing in capitalism today? What potentials for an alternative, commonist Internet are there? What are existing hindrances for such an Internet? What is the relationship of power structures, protest movements, societal developments, struggles, radical reforms, etc. to the Internet? How can critical political economy and critical theory best study the Internet and social media today?

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Capitalist and Commonist Social Media

Capitalist and Commonist Social Media

What’s wrong with capitalism and capitalist social media such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, etc. ? How would a commonist social media world look like?

With contributions and images by Carolina Cambre, Mario Haim, Teresa Alves, Han-Teng Liao, Matheus Lock, Tsai Hui-Ju, Jim Fearnley, Patricia “Jav” Zavala Gutiérrez, Shudipta Sharma, Marcin Koziej, Simon Schöpf, and Jonas Jørgensen

Shopping with Marx and Spencer

Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) not only have in common that they were 19th century contemporaries and philosophers. They are also buried close to each other on Highgate Cemetery in North London. So one can wonder about the relationship of Marx & Spencer. One obvious linguistic parallel comes immediately to mind, namely Marks & Spencer, a British retailer of food and clothes.

PRISM and the Social Media-Surveillance-Industrial Complex

PRISM is not, as Facebook, Apple and Microsoft want to make us believe, a small surveillance operation, but rather a massive and large-scale global surveillance project.
PRISM shows that the military-industrial complex makes use of a surveillance-industrial complex, into which social media are entangled

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Avoiding Avoidance: How to Put an End to Google’s Circumvention of Corporation Tax

Avoiding Avoidance: How to Put an End to Google’s Circumvention of Corporation Tax.
In the UK Public Accounts Committee’s recent session on tax avoidance, Chair Margaret Hodge spoke of Google’s “devious” behaviour and that the search engine in contrast to its philosophy does evil because it uses “smoke and mirrors to avoid paying tax”.

Open Access Journals and Capitalism: An Interview with Christian Fuchs

Just like we have Research Councils, we need European-wide Open Access Councils that have calls, where editors submit proposal for journal funding that are peer-reviewed and where in the case of a positive result public funding is provided for a specific time period. The stipulation should be that by this money editorial assistants are employed, who take care of language correction, layout, copyediting, promoting the journal in academic communities, etc. It would create an entire new job profile for editorial assistants in the sense that this job could be transformed into a non-profit public service job category.

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Collected volume “Critique, Social Media & the Information Society” (ed. Christian Fuchs and Marisol Sandoval)

Critique, Social Media & the Information Society
Edited by Christian Fuchs and Marisol Sandoval
Routledge
http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415841856/
The critical guide to social media and the information society in turbulent times!

How Ideology is Policing the Crisis of European Capitalism

The current political and ideological situation in Europe precisely resembles the situation that Hall described for the 1970s. The objects of contemporary moral panics in the crisis, the contemporary ideological demons and ideological devils are immigrants, the unemployed, Southern Europeans and the European Union. Crisis ideologies displace the causes of the crisis of capitalism into particularism. Ideology is policing the crisis today: it aims at installing an even more brutal capitalist system and making people believe that this is necessary and will help overcome and avoid future crisis. The opposite is true: The cause of the crisis is prescribed as its solution, which can only result in even worse crises in the future if these politics and ideologies are successfully implemented.

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Why Social Media Research Matters for Occupy

Do social media really with necessity result in more democracy and a better society? What is the And if such states of society are achieved, are they then the result of technology or of the struggles of humans who take risks in activism? What is the relationship of technology and society? What is the relationship between the opportunities and risks of “social media“? The Internet researcher Manuel Castells has in his recently published book “Networks of outrage and hope: social movements in the Internet age“ voiced a view that is quite similar to the one by Shirky.

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The Right-Wing European Mainstream Media Campaign against Syriza and the Need to End Neoliberalism

I have taken a look at the European media coverage of Syriza one day before the Greek election that takes place today, June 17th, 2012. European mainstream media simply ignore alternative voices that suggest a different path for Europe and Greece, namely the end of neoliberalism. Such voices exist, especially among intellectuals, but hardly make their way into the European mainstream media.