Archive for the Web Science Blog Category

The FCC back up the net neutrality

By Reuben Binns:

The internet consists of packets of information being transmitted around between servers (computers that host content and applications) and clients (i.e. user’s computers). Should internet service providers be allowed to favour the transmission of some packets over others? According to advocates of net neutrality, all packets should be treated equally, in order to ensure a level playing field for all.
They argue that if content providers were able to pay ISPs to give them a faster delivery, this could lead to a two-tier system of fast and slow lanes which would entrench the position of big companies and squash competition. Opponents argue that net neutrality is unnecessary, because if consumers really do value neutral service providers then a competitive ISP market will provide for them. Last week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission sided in favour of net neutrality by classifying broadband internet as a ‘Title II’ service, which means they can set rules to prevent ISP’s from charging for prioritised content delivery.

Revenge Porn – New law in England and Wales

Last month, a vote passed to make the revenge porn illegal in England and Wales.
Abby Whitmarsh works on that problematic for her PhD and gives us a description of it:

Revenge pornography is a phenomenon heavily reliant on Web based technologies in order to exact retaliation on someone from a previously intimate relationship. Images or videos of a person taken in sexually intimate circumstances are posted online, sometimes with identifiable details. In order to be effective, an individual seeking revenge in this manner assumes that the person being displayed will find the process humiliating, and utilises the sharing and networking capabilities of Web 2.0. Women are more likely to be subject to this form of revenge by a male ex and posts to revenge pornography websites featuring women are more popular and attract more views than those that show men. It has been argued by some that the social consequences for women who are posted as an act of revenge face greater social consequences than men who find themselves in a similar position. In view of this, revenge pornography is often considered by campaigners to be an act of sexual violence towards women.

Revenge pornography relies on both someone to post the material and an audience to view it. Research on sexting and revenge pornography has focused on the victim and legal and technical responses have tended to focus on the Website itself or on the uploader of the image and not the other members if the community. Technology, jurisdictional issues and other practicalities means it is impossible to sanction the audience of revenge pornography websites and as such the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will offer victims in England and Wales redress by possibly imprisoning the person responsible for the non-consensual distribution of their intimate images. While this may deter some from engaging in this form of revenge, others will do so anyway. Once the material has been posted it is almost impossible to get the images removed, and impossible to trace who has downloaded the material. Material can be reposted many times to different websites and social networking sites. Sometimes it may not be possible to trace who originally uploaded the material, especially in cases where someone may have their photo storage devices hacked.

WSI Lunch — The Law and the Web (26/02/15)

The objective of these monthly lunch events is to bring together people working in related areas to progress specific multi-disciplinary themes or projects, and in particular to encourage new staff and students to contribute to these teams. We have tried to choose topics that will attract people from a broad range of disciplines.

This week is dedicated to the implications of law enforcement and the role played by the service providers.

By Dr Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon of the Institute for Law and the Web (ILAWS)

Increasingly, Internet service providers such as Internet access providers, Web 2.0 platforms, search engines are being forced or expected to play a more active role in the process of law enforcement, whether this be to prevent the diffusion of offensive content or intellectual property rights infringement, enforce data subjects’ rights, or provide information to law enforcement agencies inside or outside their country of establishment.

Are service providers doing too much? Or are they doing enough? Have law-makers managed to strike the right balance between their rights and duties?


Please note that all events start with lunch at 12 noon, with the presentations/discussions beginning promptly at 12.30 and lasting for approx. 1 hour.

All staff and students welcome. Reserve your space here

24th International WWW Conference — Florence 2015

The annual World Wide Web Conference is the premier international forum to present and discuss progress in research, development, standards, and applications of the topics related to the Web.

WWW 2015 will offer high quality technical activities, including research sessions, poster sessions, workshops, tutorials, demonstrations, an industry track, a developers track, panels, and a Ph.D. symposium.


Hashtag: #www15

Importante dates:

PhiloWeb 2015


The relationship between the Web and philosophy is now at a crucial turning point. While a group of philosophers and philosophically-influenced scholars are increasingly interested in the Web, we are facing unprecedented challenges around its future that requires concerted efforts between researcher and disciplines to be properly addressed. With both Internet governance and the very architecture of the Web undergoing rapid change, now is the time for a philosophy of the Web to help to fulfill the Web’s full potential, expanding upon its fundamental principles in new terrains ranging from mass surveillance to the impact of the Internet of things.

Even swifter is the Web-driven transformation of many previously unquestioned philosophical concepts of privacy, authority, meaning, identity, belief, intelligence, cognition, and even embodiment in surprising ways. In response, we hope to provoke the properly philosophical question of whether or not philosophy that can weave these changes to technology and society into a coherent whole that can adapt the principles of the Web to the age of surveillance.

Subjects to be addressed include, but are not limited to

  • Philosophy and Politics of Open Data and Big Data
  • Human Rights, Internet Rights, and Tim Berners-Lee’s
  • Magna Carta” for the Web
  • Protocols and code as politics
  • Algorithmic governance
  • Transparency, Surveillance, Cryptography, and (Big/Linked/Semantic) Data
  • Alternative accounts of semantics for the Semantic Web
  • Philosophical roots of cybernetics, AI and the architecture of the Web
  • The future of decentralization on the Web and Internet
  • Knowledge in AI, KR, Semantic Web, Linked Data, open data, contrasted (or enriched) with knowledge in other disciplines (especially STS)

ITS Global Policy Fellowship Program 2015

Program overview


The Institute of Technology and Society ( invites researchers, graduate students as well as professionals working with technology policy, to apply to its Global Policy Fellowship Program and spend four weeks* in Brazil at ITS. Last year, we welcomed six fellows from all over the world, who contributed immensely for the success of the Fellowship Program. (See the list of our 2014 fellows here:, and what they have to say about their experiences here:

Our Global Fellows will have the opportunity to work with the team who created and developed the landmark “Marco Civil” legislation, a bill protecting fundamental rights, including privacy, net neutrality and freedom of expression, approved as law in Brazil in April 2014. ITS will offer the opportunity to work with research in the five broad areas, namely:

  • Law, democracy and technology (dealing with topics such civic engagement, online participation, and others);
  • Access to technology, justice and human rights (dealing with topics such as connectivity, accesibility, digital divide and others)
  • Internet regulation and Internet governance;
  • Privacy and data protection (dealing with topics such as big data, anti-survailance, data protection and mass surveilance);
  • Rethinking culture, media and education (working with topics such as intelectual property, digital entrepreneurship, art & technology, online teaching, and others).

The ITS Fellowship Program will offer the opportunity for those interested in internet and technology policy to deepen their knowledge about the Brazilian technology context. We have prepared an intensive 4-week* program for our fellows, which include visits to the biggest technology national and international companies operating in Brazil, the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee ( and visits to São Paulo and Brasília, including meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Culture, and Congress members who are advocating for policies related to internet and technology.

During their stay, selected fellows will be expected to:

  • Present at least one public seminar, organized in partnership with ITS. Suggested topics can include: broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and creativity, consumer privacy, open government, government surveillance, data security, data innovation, freedom of expression, democracy and technology and human rights.
  • To publish at least one article or webpost about their experience as a fellow in Brazil.
  • To collaborate with the ITS team and its projects.

Who should apply?

We are looking for students, researchers, and professionals who are following the debates in the public policy field, and who want to spend part of their summer/winter in Brazil, learning about Internet policy. People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. For the selection processes, please send us:

  • Your complete academic and professional resume, including your LinkedIn profile and other online references you want us to consider;
  • A 1-page personal statement about your motivations to work in Brazil;
  • A brief work description of your experience with technology policy;
  • Proposal for a public presentation of your work;
  • Indication of one of the five main areas ITS which you would like to work on;
  • One project or idea you would be interested in developing while at ITS.

Portuguese skills are not required (but English is mandatory)

All documents must be sent in one single e-mail message to<>, with the subject “Global Fellows Application :: YOUR NAME”.

Our Fellowship Package includes:

  • Intensive 4-week* program for the fellows;
  • Air tickets to São Paulo and Brasília;
  • Accommodation in São Paulo and Brasília during the days of our visit;
  • Shared office space at our headquarters for four weeks*;
  • A visit to a “samba” music club will also be organized, but is not mandatory;

Our Fellowship Package does not include:

  • International Traveling to and from Brazil;
  • Accommodation for the four weeks* in Rio de Janeiro, where our program takes place;
  • Other costs related to your stay in Brazil other than those mentioned above.
  • Necessary visa to entry the country.

Our team will provide tips and information about how to find accommodation in the city during that time.

Relevant Dates:

Applications deadline: March 20th, 2015;

Announcement of fellows by e-mail: March 31st, 2015;

Fellowship Program will start: June 29th, and will finish in July 27th, 2015*;

Fellows are expected to stay in Rio from 29/June/2015 to 27/Jul/2015.

After this date, fellows can coordinate with ITS the possibility of staying for a longer term if they wish. Visa and costs for additional stays are to be provided by the fellows.

ACM Web Science 2015 – Workshop

28 June to 1 July 2015 University of Oxford, UK

Call for Workshops

The WebSci workshop proposal deadline is 27 February.

A reminder also that it’s now a month to the Papers and Posters deadline on 20 March. See for both calls.

The workshops offer organisers the opportunity to curate panels, or collaborative research and scholarship activities around a key Web Science theme and to explore this in depth. Workshops may be proposed on any theme that facilitates interdisciplinary discussion of the Web and approaches to Web Science research. We particularly welcome applications that are ambitious in scope and aim to address the pressing challenges of Web Science.

This might include, but is not restricted to:

  • Theorising the Web
  • Data ownership, access and ethics
  • Digital cultures
  • Digital inequality, citizenship and governance
  • The future of the Web

Workshops can have a mixture of panel presentations and invited speakers, but presentations should reflect the diversity of approaches that characterise the multidisciplinary nature of Web Science. Workshop submission Workshop proposals should contain the following information:

  1. Title summarising the tutorial goals or workshop theme.
  2. Details of the organising committee, including names and Institutional affiliations.
  3. Max two-page description about the relevance, motivation and goals Of the tutorial or workshop.
  4. Schedule of sessions, panels, and talks (half day 14:00-17:00).
  5. Names of instructors and potential invited speakers.
  6. For workshops, selection criteria for papers to be presented.
  7. Workshop website URL (desirable).

Proposals should be submitted in pdf format through Easychair to: Workshop proposal review The Web Science programme chairs will review each submission and select those with the higher scores on originality, timeliness and relevance Of the proposed topic, its interdisciplinarity, rigour of the review process, coherence with the conference aims, and potential to attract A large audience.

  • Workshop proposal deadlines Feb 27, 2015
  • Workshop proposal submissions March 6, 2015
  • Notification of workshop acceptance March 13, 2015

Challenges in Archaeological Network Science

We would like to bring the session ‘Challenges in Archaeological Network Science’ to your attention. The session will be held at the Sunbelt Social Network Analysis conference in Brighton on 23-28 June 2015. We welcome all abstracts that address the challenges mentioned in the session abstract below.

The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015.

Please visit the Sunbelt website for more information and to submit an abstract:


The application of network analysis in archaeology has only become more common in the last decade, despite a number of pioneering studies in the 1960s and 70s. The use of different techniques for the analysis and visualisation of network data has already led to new insights into past human behaviour. However, this renewed interest in network science is also accompanied by an increasing awareness of a number of methodological challenges that archaeological network scientists are faced with. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • How to deal with spurious data?

Sampling strategies in archaeology are often dominated by the geopolitical and financial constraints of excavation campaigns. Moreover, differences in the preservation of different materials provide a very fragmented picture of past human behaviour. As a result, networks constructed from archaeological data can be very sparse with apparent uncertainties.

  • How to introduce more complex assumptions concerning tie dependency in the reconstruction of archaeological networks?

Network modelling is based on hypotheses from archaeological theory which in turn is based on archaeological evidence. A major challenge is how to infer the structure of an archaeological network given a set of assumptions regulating the occurrence of ties.

  • How to deal with the poor chronological control of archaeological data?

The contemporaneity of observations and the exact sequence of events are often uncertain. This is problematic for network science techniques that assume node contemporaneity or require knowledge of the order of events.

  • How to consider complex socio-spatial phenomena?

Archaeologists commonly study the spatial distribution of their data and evaluate to what extent spatial constraints influenced human behaviour. A limited number of spatial network techniques are currently available and many of these are not or hardly applicable in archaeology (e.g. network analysis of road networks).


This session invites papers that address these or other methodological challenges that network scientists in archaeology are faced with.

This session is organized by and will be chaired by:

Internet Science Call For Papers – Deadline Extended

The call for papers submission deadline has been extended to Friday 27 February 2015. Call for papers: The 2nd International Conference on Internet Science will be held on 27-29 May 2015 in Flagey, Brussels. We are delighted to announce that Mrs. Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament has agreed to deliver a keynote speech. The 2015 conference follows on the first edition, successfully held in Brussels in 2013. #ICIS2015 attracts colleagues from across the academic, policy, public, private, and third sectors in Europe and worldwide. How to get involved? We are currently inviting submissions of papers on the following topics :

Internet and Society

  • Internet and political participation
  • Internet of things and society
  • Digital competences and participation
  • Virtual communities and behavioral patterns
  • People-driven Internet technologies and applications, including collaborative platforms & social search, open data and new interfaces
  • Knowledge, education, and societal Web impact on Internet evolution
  • Offline and online human behavior with emphasis on social media and online interaction

Internet and governance

  • Internet governance and evolution
  • Internet economics and new business models
  • Social sciences and ethics for Internet use
  • E-democracy and e-participation
  • Identity, Trust and Privacy
  • Internet governance and legal policies
  • Security, Resilience and Dependability Aspects
  • Internet solutions for Sustainability

Internet and innovation

  • Collective intelligence for innovative solutions
  • Internet, society, and innovation
  • Novel network analytics on the Internet
  • Intellectual property and the commons
  • Design, implementation, and analysis of novel platforms
  • New collaborative markets analytics
  • New research and technical questions and thought-provoking ideas (intersection of design, arts and social interactions)
  • Economic aspects of the Internet


PhD Student Competition A prize of 500 euros will recognize the best contribution whose first author is a student (to be divided equally between all student authors of the paper). Students must be currently enrolled in Masters or Doctoral training programs, or have completed training no earlier than January 1, 2015. The submitted paper should contain the findings of original research conducted by the student during training and should be suitable for publication (not submitted to other conferences or journals). Papers submitted may be sole-authored, or, if co-authored, student(s) should be the lead author(s), which is justified by the authors’ names ordering.

Follow @i_scienceEU and use hashtag: #ICIS2015

See more at:

5th ICTs and Society Conference 2015: The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism? Perspectives for Critical Political Economy and Critical Theory

The 5th ICTs and Society-Conference: The Internet and Social Media at a Crossroads: Capitalism or Commonism? Perspectives for Critical Political Economy and Critical Theory. Vienna University of Technology. Vienna, Austria

June 3-7, 2015.

Organised by the The ICTs and Society Network – an international research network that aims to bring together critical Internet/digital media/social media-researchers.

Submission deadline: February 27, 2015

Keynote speakers: