Disruptions of the Digital: Privacy, Civics, Democracy


Disruptions of the Digital: Privacy, Civics, Democracy

Digital communication offers unique dimensions for political engagement and deliberation. Over the past decade, digital technologies have become more advanced, while societies have been radically digitalised. Digitally manipulated interference with political public debate has emerged at a new scale and resulted in the disruption of democratic opinion formation. As a result, data breaches, governmental surveillance and digital commercialisation via globalised social media platforms have become central to scholarly debates.

'Invasive technification' interferes with all types of political debate. In 2019 we are undergoing a further scaling-up of interference of political debate, directly disrupting national democratic processes across the globe. These disruptions are combined with the loss of data control of platform monopolies and unregulated application governance. This has major consequences for individual digital communication between citizens, creating risks not only for users but also for the core domains of democratic nations, above all in the functioning of civic communication as core component of democratic governance.


  • Associate Professor Justin Clemens
    Associate Professor Justin Clemens, Associate Professor in the School of Culture and Communication
  • Mr Robert  Hassan
    Mr Robert Hassan, The University of Melbourne
  • Mr Nicolas Hausdorf
    Mr Nicolas Hausdorf, The University of Melbourne
  • Professor Moira Paterson
    Professor Moira Paterson, Professor in Law
  • Associate Professor Janice  Richardson
    Associate Professor Janice Richardson, Associate Professor in Law
  • Mr Paul Shetler
    Mr Paul Shetler, Technologist & Entrepreneur
  • Mr Timothy Erik Strom
  • Professor Ingrid Volkmer
    Professor Ingrid Volkmer, Professor and Head for Media and Communications Program
  • Associate Professor Norman Witzleb
    Associate Professor Norman Witzleb, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
  • Ms Karin Zhu
    Ms Karin Zhu, The University of Melbourne