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Internet Regulation and Crisis-Related Resilience: From Covid-19 to Existential Risks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
JournalThe Communication Review Journal
Volume25
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Accepted/In press12 Sep 2022
Published7 Oct 2022

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Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Abstract

A broad literature on Internet regulation relies on imaginaries of the Internet as a socio-political technology. Deep mediatization of everyday life, however, increases the role of the Internet as a critical system for crisis response and mitigating global catastrophic risks. This article offers a theoretical contribution to exploring the role of regulation in crises through critical engagement with the concept of mediatization. The article addresses the question of what is “the meaning of Internet regulation in crisis situations and how it may diminish capacity to address future emergencies?” It stresses that understanding the consequences of mediatization in the context of future crises requires an exploration of Internet regulation from the mediational perspective and of the concept of generativity. Relying on an analysis of the role of digital platforms in Russia during the Covid-19 pandemic, the article illustrates how different forms of regulation limit resilience by restricting the generative potential of innovations that offer new forms of response to emerging threats. It highlights how the limitation of political freedoms in specific countries and the degree of global catastrophic risk are interrelated.

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