Scope

The goal of this project is: to critically assess the belief of the user being empowered in a social media culture.
The research is structured according to three main areas of interest in society where user (dis)empowerment is taking place related to social computing.

 

Inclusion
There is no automatic link between social media and user empowerment as not all users are able, willing or even permitted to be involved and participate by means or through digital media. 

Media literacy
Not all users have the required capabilities to optimally use and apply social computing in their own life and work

Privacy
To what extent are users self-reflexive and sufficiently aware about changes in privacy and personal data, i.e. how their digital activities are being monitored, processed, analysed and commodified by third parties

Each of the three levels is further divided according to the key dualism in social sciences:

– an individual agency perspective on usage side
– an institutional structural perspective on supply side

This approach allows the researchers to utilise the different research results and valorise them in close cooperation with a large stakeholder base. The interaction with various stakeholder groups (public organisations, companies, ngo’s, government,…) will be done through four main valorisation trajectories: monitoring, policy and regulation, learning and awareness.