Staying secure when homeworking during the coronavirus pandemic – Ali Vaziri

31 03 2020

Viruses do not just infect organic lifeforms such as humans. They, and other types of malware, can also affect our digital lives. While the world faces a public health emergency leaving organisations with little choice but urgently to introduce or scale up homeworking arrangements, opportunist cyber criminals are exploiting the crisis by increasingly using the coronavirus (COVID-19) as an attack vector. Read the rest of this entry »





When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media – Axel Bruns, Daniel Angus, Timothy Graham, Tobias R. Keller

22 03 2020

News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before.  Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram have played critical roles in sharing news and information, but also in disseminating rumours and misinformation. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa: Fake news about Covid-19 now a criminal offence – Dario Milo and Johan Thiel

22 03 2020

As Covid-19 infections spread rapidly around the globe and governments everywhere scramble to limit infections, fake news about the disease on social networks has become a major problem. There have even been some arrests – in India, Hungary and Kenya – of people who have spread fake news about Covid-19, using existing local laws. Read the rest of this entry »





The battle against disinformation is global – Scott Shackelford

21 03 2020

Disinformation-spewing online bots and trolls from halfway around the world are continuing to shape local and national debates by spreading lies online on a massive scale. In 2019, Russia used Facebook to intervene in the internal politics of eight African nations. Read the rest of this entry »





Online harms: the good, the bad and the unclear – David Barker

22 02 2020
When the government published its online harms white paper (OHWP) last spring we explained our view that the ideas in the white paper should represent the start of a journey towards greater regulation, rather than the final destination of that journey.

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Online Harms Deconstructed: the Initial Consultation Response – Graham Smith

20 02 2020

The abiding impression left by the government’s Initial Response to the Online Harms White Paper Consultation is that it is half-finished. Non-conclusions and conclusions sit side by side. Read the rest of this entry »





Online Harms White Paper: The Government’s Initial Consultation Response – Cathryn Hopkins and Dan Tench

14 02 2020

On 12 February 2020 the Government published its initial response (the “Response”) to last year’s Online Harms White Paper consultation. The Response leaves many issues concerning the regulatory and legislative structure yet to be decided (such as funding and enforcement powers), with the final policy to be published by the Government in the spring. Read the rest of this entry »





Northern Ireland: Overview of internet intermediary and media law cases in 2019, Part 1 – Ciaran O’Shiel and Charlotte Turk

5 02 2020

It was a relatively quiet year, with only three published judgments from the Northern Ireland courts (the same as in 2018). There was one Court of Appeal case, involving reporting restriction orders, with the Crown Court and High Court delivering judgments dealing with a source disclosure order and ‘revenge porn’ images. Read the rest of this entry »





Why people leave Facebook, and what it tells us about the future of social media – Mark Whitehead

17 01 2020

The number of active users of Facebook (those people who have logged onto the site in the previous month) has reached a historic high of 2.45 billion. To put this in some context, approximately 32% of the global population now use the social media platform, and the trend line of participation is still going up. Read the rest of this entry »





Disinformation, data verification and social media – Ben Wagner and Lubos Kuklis

16 01 2020

What you don’t know can’t hurt you: this seems to be the current approach for responding to disinformation by public regulators across the world. Nobody is able to say with any degree of certainty what is actually going on. Read the rest of this entry »