First Monday

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals solely devoted to resarch about the Internet. First Monday has published 1,901 papers in 283 issues, written by 2,678 different authors, over the past 23 years. No subscription fees, no submission fees, no advertisements, no fundraisers, no walls.

This month: December 2019
Nothing new here: Emphasizing the social and cultural context of deepfakes
In the last year and a half, deepfakes have garnered a lot of attention as the newest form of digital manipulation. While not problematic in and of itself, deepfake technology exists in a social environment rife with cybermisogyny, toxic-technocultures, and attitudes that devalue, objectify, and use women’s bodies against them. The basic technology, which in fact embodies none of these characteristics, is deployed within this harmful environment to produce problematic outcomes, such as the creation of fake and non-consensual pornography. The sophisticated technology and metaphysical nature of deepfakes as both real and not real (the body of one person, the face of another) makes them impervious to many technical, legal, and regulatory solutions. For these same reasons, defining the harm deepfakes causes to those targeted is similarly difficult and very often targets of deepfakes are not afforded the protection they require. This paper argues that it is important to put an emphasis on the social and cultural attitudes that underscore the nefarious use of deepfakes and to adopt a more material-based approach, opposed to technological, to understanding the harm presented by deepfakes.
Also this month
What social media platforms can learn from audience measurement: Lessons in the self-regulation of “black boxes”
The widespread concerns about the misuses and negative effects of social media platforms have prompted a range of governance responses, including preliminary efforts toward self-regulatory models. Building upon these initiatives, this paper looks to the self-regulation of the audience measurement industry as a possible template for the self-regulation of social media. This article explores the parallels between audience measurement systems and social media platforms; reviews the self-regulatory apparatus in place for the audience measurement industry; and, considers the lessons that the self-regulation of audience measurement might offer to the design and implementation of self-regulatory approaches to social media.



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