Following the assumption that the IT-blog sphere represents an avant-garde of technologically and socially interested experts, Jens Pohlmann presents a research platform to observe its input on the public discussion of matters situated at the intersection of technology and society.
Based on text and metadata from about 400 IT-blogs from Germany and the U.S. (IT-Blog corpus), we can now study the discussion regarding digital policy in this subfield of the digital public sphere and compare it with the discourse in traditional media settings (newspaper corpus) and the policy discussion (policy corpus). Our goal is to identify the most influential stakeholders in the respective subfield, their communication strategies, and the arguments that they bring forward. What are the challenges that these players detect with regards to the impact of digital technologies on democracy and to what extent do they differ from those recognized on the other side of the Atlantic?
The platform is intended to become a research tool for scholars who are working at the crossroads of technology, public policy, society and the Internet. It quickly provides access to the relevant discourse and allows users to query, study, and explore the different corpora and medial registers. Digital Humanities research methods such as assisted close reading, distant reading processes, and the analysis of communication and reference networks will allow for investigations regarding free speech issues, privacy laws, upload filters, AI, or copyright legislation in the digital age.
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