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Trusted commons: why ‘old’ social media matter


This paper looks at contemporary uses of an “old” social media – Internet Relay Chat (IRC) – and shows how they constitute a form of resistance to and a social critique of mainstream social media platforms. By examining IRC uses within three social worlds of peer production (free software development, hackerspace participation, Anonymous hacktivism), we argue that this open protocol (a digital commons) continues to serve as an essential component of the digital infrastructure, while receiving minimal public attention or funding.


Maxigas & Latzko-Toth, G. (2020). Trusted commons: why ‘old’ social media matter. Internet Policy Review, vol. 9, no. 4.

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