This is for everyone? Some steps towards decolonizing the Web

Jessica Ogden, Susan Halford, Les Carr, Graeme Earl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


From the outset, the Web has been steered by powerful commitments to ‘openness’: in its technical requirements - open standards, protocols; and in the promotion of free and open information exchange. The mutual co-construction of conceptualisations of the Web as both an embodiment and facilitator of ‘openness’ is not without its problems, however. In this brief (deliberately provocative) discussion we explore ways in which treating openness as a ‘universal good’ ignores (and marginalises) diversity in cultural practice and obscures the structures of power and control embedded in the processes of the cultural appropriation of knowledge. In this way, questioning the Web’s ‘openness’ is a mechanism by which to explore the digital divide, the inherent politics of the Web as a socio-technical infrastructure and the historical processes that have led to its continued development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Divides Workshop at Web Science 2015, United Kingdom, 28/06/15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Structured keywords

  • Digital Societies


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