Co-leads: Marianne Franklin (Media and Communications) ( and Tom Sanderson (Centre for Investigative Journalism) (

This stream explores the socioeconomic, cultural, and political implications of internet design, access, use for human rights. This stream gathers together staff and students engaged in research, curriculum development, digital rights activism, rights-based technological design, investigative journalism, internet policy critiques and advocacy. The sorts of issues we consider include:

(1) What is the future significance of human rights standards in the face of networked, internet-based processes that can bypass human actors (e.g. through automation, artificial intelligence, bot networks)

(2) How is human/digital rights advocacy responding to trans-border networks of data tracking, collection, and harvesting by commercial and governmental agencies?

(3) How can we contribute to analyzing, and shifting the terms of debate to enable online, and offline spaces for civic participation, support education and public debate through developing alternative narratives, applications, and scholarly knowledge?

(4) How do governments and corporate actors respond to the demands of businesses, local communities, digital rights activists, and international human rights agencies for greater participation in future decision-making in the development of internet media and communications?

Members of the Internet Futures and Human Rights Stream have contributed articles to openDemocracy’s Human Rights and the Internet special feature. A partnership between Goldsmiths and openDemocracy and edited by Stream co-lead Marianne Franklin, the special feature engages scholars, digital and human rights activists, artists, technical and legal experts to develop a critical agenda to address the interconnection between human rights and internet futures.

Photo: Still from “Products for Organizing”, Serpentine Gallery, 2015, Artist: Simon Denny