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Security and safety

The rapid pace and broad scope of contemporary innovation can affect the security of individuals, groups and entire communities. In our work we take a broad understanding of security to encompass issues such as trust, well-being, transparency and privacy. Our projects seek to explore these issues in both conceptual and practical terms.

The 'Digital Wildfire' project is part of RCUK's Global Uncertainties programme. It follows a report produced by the World Economic Forum which describes social media as a global risk factor due to the capacity for harmful content (in the form of rumour, malicious campaigns, inflammatory speech etc.) to spread rapidly and have very negative consequences. We use a variety of methods to explore opportunities for the responsible governance of social media. How can we manage or limit the spread of harmful content on social media? What can we do to protect the most vulnerable users of social media - such as children and young people?

We undertake various activities to translate our research into practical impacts that can enhance security and safety. Marina Jirotka has been appointed a specialist advisor to the House of Lords inquiry into Children and the Internet. The Digital Wildfire project has produced e-safety teaching and learning materials for schools as well as a video animation that encourages young people to take care on social media.

Research