2009: Volume 2, Issue 1, pp. 149-165

Twittering in the OECD’s “Participative Web”: 
Microblogging and New Media Policy

Tamara Shepherd



The recent popularity of microblogging site Twitter raises regulatory concerns that outstrip the purview of emerging new media policy, such as the recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD’s 2007 report, Participative Web and User-Created Content: Web 2.0, Wikis and Social Networking, frames user-generated content as key to the development of public discourse. Yet the report tends to ultimately conceive of user creations in terms of their contributions to the production of market-based value. Sites like Twitter both challenge and uphold such a reading, which becomes apparent upon examining the ways that policy adheres to certain popular myths around the Internet and digital technology. These myths—including this paper’s main concern, the myth of the “End of Geography”—work in the service of policy recommendations that reflect neoliberal, capitalist value systems. As such, new developments in new media regulation need to integrate critical perspectives on techno-myths in order to take a more nuanced approach to the structural inequalities that pervade online culture.



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