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Ben Childs

Digital designer and data visualiser

28th Mar: Currently focussing on...Automating design system workflows and learning Python for data visualisation on DataCamp

From 2017 – 2019, I studied MA Digital Media & Society at the University of Sheffield. The course allowed me to explore technology from a sociological perspective, and to develop my writing skills and critical thinking. This article is based on an assignment for one of the course modules.


8th November 2017

Internet freedom in relation to political engagement

This short-form article was the first assignment I completed for the MA Digital Media & Society course. The short-form format is written in a more casual style and with less formal referencing structure.

The assignment required me to consider how freedoms defined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are relevant in the context of free speech on the internet, especially considering democracy and freedom of speech. Nations that respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights typically reflect the freedoms as civil liberties within statutory law, enabling a legal construct by which the freedoms can be applied.

Articles 18 and 19 of the declaration describe the right to freedom of thought, conscience, opinion and expression, and are typically most relevant when considering freedom of expression on the internet. In the context of political campaigns, the restriction of internet freedoms has been used to affect outcomes in non-democratic regimes, but even supposedly fair democratic process is increasingly manipulated by artificially generated content and challenges to trust and authenticity through "fake news".

Download the full article3 pages, PDF format

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