When Icarus Flew too High: Moral Mediation in Mobile Instant Messaging Apps
Schie, G.A. van
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This thesis is looking at the moral medaition of privacy in mobile instant messaging apps. First,I will investigate why privacy has become a topic of discussion in this era of big data. Secondly I will investigate how these points of discussion are reflected in the affordances of WhatsApp and Telegram. Thirdly, I will show how privacy is mediated in both services using Verbeeks theory of moral mediation, both on the level of the platforms and the level of corporate communication. Finally, I will argue that moral mediation, as described by Verbeek, lacks two features: It does not take into account that communication technologies often are accessible only as a black box (their true workings are hidden) and it does not appreciate the importance of existing power relations at its true value. As a combination these two features can problematize protection of human rights and ultimately, democracy.