{teaching} Live Blog: 4th Gen Intro session 11.3.


2012-07-16 13.52.43Welcome to the first session of The Fourth Generation!

Prelude: INTERESTING answers and insights to the pre-course questionnaire!

  • The general consensus seems to be that the media and comm tech relate at least to the famous Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — Freedom of Expression — as well as to privacy, right to one’s artistic and scientific achievements, and right to education.
  • Surprisingly many of you are working/interested in media/comm tech and development. Great — that will be one of the main foci of examples, and definitively  one of the main issues we will look at when we will assess the future. We will also have a screencast or two by folks who work in this field.
  • Many of you are also concerned about gender and human rights. That’s great too as one or two (depends how many will want to work on it) of our group work cases will address that.
  • Your concerns of the main HR violations are numerous. They vary from capital punishment to gay rights, but the most recurring themes were gender inequality and, yes, freedom of expression. As the recent study by the organization Reporter without Borders notes, in 2014 FoE declined significantly in all over the world. In this age of digital media that some time ago was hailed as the saviour of democracy…
  • Some themes you want to discuss are – as already noted – gender, media & comm tech; FoE; surveillance; media development questions; but also corporate social responsibility, stalking/cyberbullying, cyber hate crimes, and digital divide (thank you for that — only some 42% of the world is online and while mobile leap frogging will do some of the work, that won’t solve the problem immediately).

14:15: Introductions! Rune: This is an experience-based course. Please bring in your own experiences and interests — work or otherwise — because this is an issue that is so in the flux that old theories are not going to solve our problems. Most of our assignments are practice-oriented because we are tackling the field that is so complex.

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Rune: Just finished his PhD: see saugmann. tumblr.com/dissertation

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 8.21.09 AMMinna’ s intro: PhD from Helsinki, interest in media reform as well as in ICT4D (see more in this blog).

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 8.29.57 AMOthers… (see also the FB intros!): FoE and data privacy are big issues! Social media and social movements. Piracy, hate groups.Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 8.39.03 AM Gender. Freedom of journalistic expression in  relation to journalists using new digital tools. The ways in which the media constructs discourses.

How does this course differ from other courses: We create a global outlook and apply our knowledge and build the bridges between theories and praxis.

Please make sure you’re on the FB group and feel free to share.

Generations of Human rights: Video on this section of Rune’s lecture is here.

There are many texts (marked as ‘W1’) in the Dropbox —  take a look.


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  • What’s in a communication rights? Can communication be a right when clashing with other rights? (Privacy)
  • E.g. US – HR and the public sphere meets the economic sphere. E.g., Google’s involvement in discussing comm rights.
  • [Access = an NGO based on the premise that media/comm rights are essential to human rights.]
  • Tech companies / private services and ‘quasi rights’, ‘quasi laws’ = user instructions and privacy clauses. Those documents in many ways override national laws. You may give up some rights when you agree on a private company as you agree to those terms of service.
  • Who is actually the SUBJECT of the right? The problem for the mediator systems (platforms) – who is responsible (intermediary liability)? Is Google responsible for a website that violates some laws of a nation? Google, Facebook etc. have all been  in this difficult bind.
  • In addition should Google et al.  give info to governments when they request it?
  • In sum: 3 main players: govts, corporations, NGOs.
  • [Minna: 4th sector = loosely affiliated, non-institutionalized, groups such as some hacker groups, some individuals…] – the below chart by Joseph Nye, showcasing also the local – national – global dimension (see also discussion below; more next week!)

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Darker sides:

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  • #1: Privacy: NOT ONLY private citizens but right to representative governance — and to the latter their right to privacy is important – a treat to representative democracy.
  • Risk society: a new risk by surveillance – global digital freedom risk.
  • Individual state is not enough to govern = a collective action problem, need for agreement beyond the nation state.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.35.10 AM

  • Images and digital content in general is such a fundamental part we live in -> EXPOSURE becomes a part of torture (e.g., Abu Ghraib) – images are a part of all kinds of actions we do.

These are difficult — yet interesting — ways of discussing the question of HR & comm tech/the media.

PLEASE SEE RUNE’S SLIDES HEREFourth Generation HR – intro session

This is your next assignment, due at midnight Wed 18.3.: 

You are to ‘participate’ in a on open consultancy call for an EU report on human rights and technology. 

You can do this ‘for real’ as well as on our shared platform — just note that the real deadline is Mon 16.3.

Here’s the intro video to the assignment – to introduce you to the case.

Here’s the participatory platform. You will need a password — that’ll be posted in our secret FB group and emailed to you.

Here’s the original call for consultation.

Let Minna know via email if you have any questions or post one below.

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