Following the assumption that the IT-blog sphere represents an avant-garde of technologically and socially interested experts, Jens Pohlmann presents (on the basis of his joined work with Adrien Barbaresi) a research platform to observe its input on the public discussion of matters situated at the intersection of technology and society. They examine digital text corpora compiled from German and US tech blogs to identify influential stakeholders in this subfield, their communication strategies, and the arguments they bring forward. What are the challenges these players detect with regards to the impact of digital technologies on democracy and to what extent do they differ from those recognized on the other side of the Atlantic? The first examination of these corpora focuses on the discussion of the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) and illustrates the diverging cultures concerning freedom of expression in Germany and the USA.
Jens Pohlmann is Gerda Henkel Fellow for Digital History 2018-19 at the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C. and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Furthermore, he is an Associate Researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. His research and teaching interests include 20th and 21st Century German Literature and Culture, Digital Humanities, Media Studies, and Transatlantic Internet Policy. Jens received his PhD from Stanford University in 2017 with a thesis on the marketing strategies of avant-garde authors in the German public sphere. He was a CESTA Graduate Research Fellow from 2015 to 2016 and is currently working on a comparative analysis of the internet policy discourse in Germany and the United States based on digital text corpora: “Free Speech, Regulation, and Democracy in the Digital Age - An Analysis of Transatlantic Internet Policy Differences in Germany and the United States."