Policy & Internet Conference 2023

Policy innovation for inclusive internet governance 

Location: Social Sciences Building (A02), Lecture Theatre 200, University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus.

Dates and time: 28-29 September, 2023, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

The Policy & Internet conference will bring together a range of international voices to demonstrate how varying approaches towards internet policy are established, embodied and engaged with by a variety of stakeholders. Together, scholars and policymakers will discuss current practices, alternative designs and the ‘unknowns’ that are required for inclusive internet governance.

Day One: 28 September 2023

Keynote Speaker:

Professor Johanna Weaver

Professor Johanna Weaver is the founding Director of the Tech Policy Design Centre at the Australian National University (ANU). A recovering diplomat, and reformed commercial litigator, Professor Weaver champions tech policy as a tool to shape technology for the long-term benefit of humanity.

Prior to joining ANU, Professor Weaver completed her term as Australia’s independent expert and lead negotiator on cyber issues at the United Nations. Earlier she led the Cyber Affairs Branch at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working closely with Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Cyber Affairs. Professor Weaver is a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Global Advisory Board on digital threats during conflict.


e-Safety: Youth and digital media policy

Chair: Dr Jonathon Hutchinson

Dr Jonathon Hutchinson is the Chair of Discipline of Media and Communication at the University of Sydney. He is a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council LIEF project ‘The International Digital Policy Observatory,’ and is also a Chief Investigator on the eSafety Commission Research project ‘Emerging online safety issues: co-creating social media education with young people.’ For 2023 and 2024, he holds the prestigious position of President of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association and is the current Editor in Chief of the Policy & Internet Journal. His most recent book, Digital Intermediation: Unseen infrastructure for cultural production, is available through Routledge.


Presenters: Inclusivity

Chair: Professor John Hartley, A.M

Professor John Hartley is a research professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. Previously he was Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, Dean of Creative Industries at QUT, is John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Curtin University. Hartley founded the International Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage), which he edited for 20 years, and Cultural Science Journal (Sciendo). His recent books On the Digital Semiosphere (Bloomsbury) and Advanced Introduction to Creative Industries (Elgar) seek to widen the scope of global technological and media analysis to include the crucial role of culture.

Dr Zoe Alderton: Stigma and Alarm: Problems with Policy for Censoring Harmful Behaviour in Online Communities.

Dr Zoe Alderton (she/her) is an interdisciplinary scholar working in novel solutions for youth mental health struggles. Her PhD was awarded by the Department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. Zoe’s publications on internet policy, censorship, and harmful online content include her monographs The Aesthetics of Self-Harm (2018) and Preventing Harmful Behaviour in Online Communities (2022).

Dr Victor Zhuang: Building Inclusive Internets: The Case of Disability and Emerging Technologies

Kuansong Victor, Zhuang is a Visiting Fellow at The University of Sydney, and an International Postdoctoral Scholar at the Wee Kim School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. He was a former Chevening scholar in 2013-2014 and a 2022-2023 Princeton University Fung Global Fellow. His research lies at the intersections of communications, media, and cultural studies, and disability studies.

Dr Holly Randell-Moon & Danielle Hynes: Mobilising futures: Receptivity and First Nations in telecommunications landscapes in regional and rural smart policy in Australia

Dr Holly Randell-Moon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at Charles Sturt University. Holly researches community understandings of digital infrastructure and telecommunications and social inclusion. She has worked on projects involving older people’s use of technology, First Nations’ contributions to urbanisation, the First Nations foundations of infrastructure in Australia.

Danielle Hynes is a UNSW Scientia PhD candidate and member of the Media Futures Hub. Her research explores social justice in cities, the present and future of non-market housing, and how ubiquitous datafication is impacting urban life. Particularly, how discourses surrounding new technology in cities are shaping urban imaginaries.

Dr Sacha Molitorisz & Professor Monica Attard: News Media & Digital Platforms v The Citizen/ Where’s the inclusivity in Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code? 

Dr Sacha Molitorisz is a senior lecturer with the Faculty of Law at UTS, where he works with the Centre for Media Transition. His research explores journalistic ethics and standards, the news media bargaining code and how the law can best support public interest journalism, including through the implementation of a harmonised cross-platform standards scheme. Previously, Dr Molitorisz was a writer, editor and blogger with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Professor Monica Attard is a Professor of Journalism Practice and Co Director of the UTS Centre for Media Transition. After 45 years of journalism practice, mainly at ABC Australia, she brings to the academic study of journalism a reality of in-the-field challenges and the impact of digital disruption, particularly in the area of information disorder. Monica has won 6 Walkley awards for excellence in journalism, including a Gold Walkley. She is also the recipient of an Order of Australia for services to journalism.

Dr Chika Anyanwu: Inclusive Voice in Artificial Intelligence Policy

Chika Anyanwu is a student-centred academic leader with many years of experience transforming educational schools and departments into sustainable 21st-century educational ecosystems. These include as founding Head of Media at the University of Adelaide, Head of the School of Communication and Creative Industries at Charles Sturt University, Head of the Bathurst campus of Charles Sturt University, Director of Partnerships for Southern Cross University, Head of Mass Communication at the Curtin University of Technology and many others. 

Presenters: Policy design

Chair: Milica Stilinovic

Milica Stilinovic is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney where she has lectured on media politics and political communication. Her current research focuses on the digitised communication of violence and the language of violent acts through the lens of far-right, white nationalist and white supremacist groups. She is the Managing Editor of Policy and Internet and an author and journalist whose work has appeared in Forbes, TIME, BBC, and other local and international titles.. 

Dr. Hsin-Hsuan Lin: Formulating and legitimising rights-based digital governance in Taiwan: Cabinet-level platform, Privacy and Public Accountability 

Dr. Hsin-Hsuan Lin obtained her S.J.D. from the University of Virginia in 2019 and currently serves as an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan). Her research interests focus on constitutional law, and international law. Her articles have appeared in both legal and social science journals, including Nature Hazards Review, Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review.

Professor Xi Chen: The Boundaries of the Collection and Use of Personal Information Online: An Exploration of Chinese Internet Users’ Privacy Concerns and Sensitivity to Disclosing Personal Information

Xi Chen, PhD is a Professor at the Management Science Department, Yunnan University, China. Her research focuses on Internet social governance, Internet behaviour and decision-making, and Internet economy and information management. She has published over thirty academic papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals, among which are The Essence and Evolution.

Dr Olga Boichak: Uncharted waters: digital sovereignty in Russia’s war against Ukraine

Dr Olga Boichak is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Discipline of Media and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is a sociologist with expertise in computational social science, and her research interests span networks, narratives, and cultures of activism in the digital age. Boichak is an editor of the Digital War journal and has a track record of publications that lay the groundwork for new directions in information warfare research, particularly in the areas of participatory warfare.

Jungseok Yu:Institutional Layering in Social Media Regulation in South Korea: 1992-2012

Jungseok Yu, also known as Lucas, is a PhD candidate in Media, Film, and Communication at the University of Otago. Drawing from his experience as a public and self-regulator of online content in South Korea, his research interests encompass traditional and new media policy, emphasizing internet content regulation, particularly in addressing disinformation, within democratic contexts. His notable publications explore diverse facets of this domain, including an innovative Internet content regulation model, digital properties of the deceased, and the intricate relationship between election fairness and the preservation of free speech.

Day Two: 29 September 2023

Keynote Speaker:

Dr Justine Humphry

Dr Justine Humphry is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. She uses qualitative and participatory research methods to study the impacts of digitisation and datafication in the lives of marginalised media consumers, and to involve these groups in design and policy change. She is currently the Chief Investigator of the eSafety Commissioner-funded ‘Emerging Online Safety Issues’ project, collaborating with a team of researchers and industry and community partners, to create evidence-based social media education co-designed with young people and parents.


Digital hostility, policy and social change

Chair: Professor Catharine Lumby

Professor Catharine Lumby is a Professor of Media at the University of Sydney where she was founding Chair of the Media and Communications Department. Prior to entering academia, she worked for two decades as a print and TV journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and The Bulletin magazine. She has written and co-authored then books and numerous book chapters and journal articles and recently completed a biography of Frank Moorhouse.


Chat GPT and Gender Bias in the Asia Pacific Region

Chair: Dr Joanne Gray

Dr Joanna Gray is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Discipline of Media and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is an interdisciplinary academic with expertise in digital platform policy and governance. Her research seeks to understand how digital platforms, such as Google/Alphabet and Facebook/Meta, exercise private power and explore relevant policy options.


Presenters: Content Moderation

Dr Chunmeizi Su

Dr Chunmeizi Su is a Lecturer of Digital Cultures at the University of Sydney. Her research interests are mainly focused on Algorithms, and Digital Entertainment Industry, including but not limited to platform studies, Chinese tech industries, screen industry studies, and cultural soft power. Her publications include the monograph ‘Douyin, TikTok, and China’s Online Video Industry: The Rise of Short Video Platforms’ (Routledge, 2023).

Nadia Jude: Are we solving the right issue? A policy analysis of problem representations of misinformation in Australia 

Nadia Jude is a PhD researcher within the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. Her research centres on questions around platform governance, with a focus on problem representations of mis- and disinformation in Australian policy-making discourse. Specifically, Nadia’s work explores policy solutions encouraged and closed off under dominant problem representation, alongside voices and identities privileged and ignored in policy-making processes.

Dr Ya-Chi Chen: Meme as policy? Taiwan’s take on tackling mis/disinformation

Dr Ya-Chi Chen is an associate professor in the Department of Journalism at Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. She completed her PhD at the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests focus on how policy and regulatory frameworks impact the media environment, as well as the interaction between media discourse and social reality. She has been interested in issues of platform governance since the pandemic and hopefully that will bring us towards a stronger democracy.

Presenters: Governance

Chair: Dr Xiang Ren

Dr Xiang Ren researches digital publishing, open access, social media platforms, and Chinese digital cultures. He was previously a research fellow and academic course advisor at Western Sydney University and a member of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), and before that, a research fellow at the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI). He received his PhD, with an outstanding doctoral thesis award, from the Queensland University of Technology.

Dr Jiawei Tian: The Evolutionary Logic of China’s Internet Governance Policies from 1994 to 2022

Dr Jiawei Tian, a 2021 Chevening scholar, a master of international development from the University of Birmingham, the author of The Invisible Summit (Zhang Hong, the first blind person in Asia to reach the summit of Mount Everest — autobiography), and a Master of Journalism from Sun Yat-sen University, is now engaged in communication work. She is a former international journalist, interviewed political and business elites worldwide, including Bill Gates; and has paid long-term attention to marginalised people.

Stefan Luca: Tethered to Their Own Web – Reclaiming Networked Governance from Digital Platforms

Stefan Luca is a postdoctoral researcher in platform regulation with CREATe, the UK Copyright and Creative Economy Centre, University of Glasgow. His PhD research at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, explored regulatory responses to online misinformation from a deliberative democracy perspective. Before turning to academia, Stefan specialised in human rights litigation, working at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the Romanian Government Agent before the ECtHR and the European Roma Rights Centre.

Wenjia Tang: The Challenges and Opportunities of NFTs and Digital Collection Regulation in China: a case study of RED’s R-SPACE

Wenjia Tang is a PhD candidate at the Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney. She graduated from UCL, UK, with a Master’s degree in Film and Media Studies. Her research is now on the platform industry and digital glocalisation, with a particular interest in entertainment media, platform policies & regulation, metaverse and web3, and global culture consumption. Her publications include journal articles on Global Media and China and Online Media and Global Communication.

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