NWO grant awarded to project on vulnerability and social media

Ben Wagner Lector InHolland VCornel(c) 2021 1475

Developing knowledge for policies that help governments adequately deal with long-term effects of digitization of society. To this end, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) recently awarded an €863,000 grant to the project proposal 'RESOCIAL'. In this project, Inholland, led by Leiden University, will work with other knowledge institutions for the next two years to address vulnerabilities and increase resilience on social media.

Rationale for RESOCIAL project
People increasingly live their social lives online, with higher risks of manipulation, online violence and discrimination. The main causes of this, according to the consortium behind RESOCIAL, are a lack of scientific methods to measure risks for human rights online, the inadequacy of Dutch and EU legislation to increase user resilience, and the ineffective protection of vulnerable users.

RESOCIAL aims not only to identify vulnerabilities in social media platforms and analyze the gaps in existing hard and soft law. But also provide solutions through co-design workshops. Namely, a legal solution by providing government guidelines for vulnerability-aware implementation of social media laws, a design solution ("vulnerability-sensitive design") and a business solution by developing vulnerability-aware codes of conduct for platforms.

Ben Wagner, Professor of Media, Technology and Society at Inholland and Associate Professor Human Rights & Technology at TU Delft: “We’re excited to be working together with this fantastic team led by Gianclaudio Malgieri to strengthen human rights online. The scientific focus of our work will be on better measurement tools that can contribute to improving the protection of vulnerable users online.”

Consortium Partners RESOCIAL 
The partners involved in this project are: ALLAI Netherlands, Alliance for Digital Rights (AUDRI), Autoriteit Consument en Markt, BEUC, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, Equality Now, "Future of Privacy Forum (Dutch branch)", Hogeschool Inholland, International Observatory on Vulnerable People in Data Protection (VULNERA), Leiden University, Offlimits, SIDN Fonds, TU Delft, UNICEF Letter and University of Twente.

NWA program Vulnerability and resilience in an online society
This grant falls under the NWA program Vulnerability and Resilience in an Online Society. A total of four research projects in consortia are participating in this program.

For more information about this project and experts behind the consortium partners, also read the post on the Leiden University website.

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