The Computational Propaganda Project

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game

Project members Sam Woolley and Nick Monaco wrote an opinion piece about bot regulation for TechCrunch.

Policymakers’ animus against the internet isn’t new: it’s part of a long trend of suspicion about this medium that challenges all media. Their feelings toward regulation of the web are often muddied by broader trends of political ambivalence toward the actual mechanics of the web.

Recently, Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said, “the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.”

Statements like this are striking examples of how politicians like Turnbull stubbornly refuse to learn about the infrastructure of the internet before claiming to know how to solve the problems that result from its complexities.

Such accusations, similar to recent blanket indictments by politicians against the political use of bots, fail to recognize one important fact: regulation should not be levied against tools themselves, but against particular uses. For instance, calls to ban bots of social media miss the fact that these automated software mechanisms allow for myriad positive, and even benign, activities such as queuing posts.

Read the full article here.

Nick MonacoSamuel C. WoolleyTechCrunch

Robert Gorwa • 15th August 2017


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