Social life is a complex phenomenon, whether we are looking at offline or online interactions. We identify. We form groups. We sense belonging. We dislike. We exclude. Without evident reasons, we feel connected to some and disconnected to others. As inherent functions of social life, social groups have been created and dismantled. They become coherent and diffuse, as if compressed and decompressed in a continuous accordion play.
Digital devices play an increasingly central role in many people's lives and analogue tools are becoming quickly outdated. Phone books, travel agencies, and taxi companies are becoming obsolete with the advent of mobile phones, Airbnb, Uber, and countless other online solutions. With the advent of the Internet of Things, not only are our obvious digital devices – phones, tablets, and laptops – becoming linked to the Internet, but so are our formerly analogue tools – doors, fridges, and thermostats.
Discussions about fake news, ignited right after the US Presidential election in November 2016, have continued to dominate the public debate, as Internet companies increasingly face backlash over the spread of fake news on their platforms.
Filter bubbles describe how our online experiences are taking place in a tailor-made, personalised world that shows like-minded visions and hides views we might not agree with. In 2016, discussions about filter bubbles were on a rise, growing in force with Brexit, and exploding after the victory of President-elect Trump.
Why has Pokémon Go become such an ‘instant’ success? How does it - and augmented reality in general - affect different areas in digital policy? And what will augmented reality (AR) look like in the future? These questions - and more - were in focus during our webinar on Pokémon politics: Digital policy in the age of augmented reality, on 15 September.
Terrorists are using the Internet for a wide-range of purposes. On the operational side, terrorist organisations use ICTs for internal communication and fundraising, while on the public relations side, the Internet has proven to be an effective vehicle for disseminating and promoting terrorist ideologies. The spread of extremist propaganda over the Internet can have severe effects in the offline world, with last month’s shooting in Orlando a grave example of what online radicalisation can lead to.