Martin Husovec: The EU Digital Services Act: An Attempt to Protect the Republic(s)?
The Digital Services Act is stylised as a law regulating digital services. But when we look at its ambitious goals, it is clearly a modern attempt to protect the system of liberal democracy. One of its core goals is to effectively suppress the distribution of illegal expressions, such as hate speech, terrorist content, or modern acts of subversion, such as election interference, computation propaganda, or attacks on democratic institutions. Thus, while the law is about digital services, its goals are also heavily in the realm of public security. The reason why this is not immediately obvious is because, unlike its 20th-century forerunners, the DSA is not only about suppression. The DSA is also trying to address the erosion of social trust which is likely one of the root causes of many of the ills behind illegal modes of expression. The keynote will argue that the trust-enhancing tools of the DSA are more subtle, but nevertheless very important.
Martin Husovec is an Associate Professor of Law at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His scholarship deals with questions of innovation policy and digital liberties, particularly intellectual property law, platform regulation, and freedom of expression. Martin is currently finalising a book about European regulation of digital platforms, entitled “Principles of the Digital Services Act” (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2024).
Ine Beyens: Friend or foe: Understanding the impact of social media on youth’s mental health
Social media have become an integral part of adolescents’ daily lives. From the moment they wake up, until the moment they go to bed, adolescents scroll through their social media feeds, watching endless streams of TikTok videos and Instagram posts. While social media offer ample opportunities for connection and self-expression, concerns exist that social media harm adolescents’ mental health. Worries abound that social media make adolescents feel anxious and depressed, crush their self-esteem, and leave them isolated and lonely.
While public worries persist that social media are bad for adolescents’ mental health, research provides a more nuanced perspective. The keynote lecture presents insights from different studies that try to unravel the complex links between social media and adolescents’ mental health. It will address the question why social media make some adolescents feel happy while leaving others feeling blue and shed light on individual differences in the effects of social media on various aspects of youth mental health.
Ine Beyens is an assistant professor in the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the effects of screen media on the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of children and adolescents. Ine is founding member of Project AWeSome, an interdisciplinary project that investigates the effects of social media use on various aspects of adolescents’ well-being. Within this project, she co-developed an idiographic media effects approach to investigate the impact of social media use on each individual adolescent’s well-being. In her work, Ine employs intensive longitudinal data collected through experience sampling methods, to capture what adolescents do, feel, and think during their daily life.