Conflict in a digital place
This paper discusses the issue of conflict over the Internet. It focuses on situations where disagreements between users connect with specific choices in the design of a digital infrastructure, and it argues that engagement in design activities can be used as a tool to analyse and probe such issues. It presents an ethnographic study of VOCI, a community of students based in Syria that witnessed a major conflict between its core members during the early 2010s. This conflict evolved around issues of control and governance, and eventually translated into a shared concern of how access and ownership of digital places are configured. This article introduces the design of Modus, a platform for shared proprietary rights over the Internet, as an alternative way to manage digital ownership.
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