One of the things that sets Swarm apart from your average industry conference is our partnership with the academic community. Each year, in addition to our industry and enterprise conference program, we co-host a Symposium on a topic directly relevant to online community managers. This helps connect practitioners to researchers and their studies, and vice versa, creating a powerful and productive dialogue.

This year, in association with the University of Sydney, we are focusing on the relationships we have with our platforms. If you are interested in submitting a paper, details are below. We strongly encourage all professional community managers to attend the Symposium session and contribute to the conversation.

2019 Swarm Symposium: Platform governance for better communities

When: August 20, 9:30 – 12:30pm

Building cohesive, productive online communities depends on good governance relationships – particularly with the platforms that host our conversations and content. But increasingly major international communications platform providers are being portrayed as reluctant to control the violence and misinformation they host, and slow to provide moderation tools that help community managers minimise harmful content and deal with bad behaviour.

In light of the Christchurch Call and global debates about how social media platforms and their user base might be better governed, the 2019 Swarm Symposium invites papers on all aspects of platform governance including:

  • Choosing platforms: governance considerations in community building
  • Asymmetric relations: negotiating ToS with platform providers
  • Regulating live streaming and synchronous chat
  • Identifying and responding to misinformation campaigns
  • Controlling hate: moderation tactics and intervention styles
  • Caring for managers & moderators: mental health considerations
  • Surveillance technologies and their impact on user
  • AI and its impacts on community development
  • The platformisation of customer service and community relations

Abstracts should be 300 words with title, author name, affiliation, email and phone contact. Please send them to Dr Fiona Martin: fiona.martin@sydney.edu.au by July 12.

Two travel scholarships will be available to postgraduate students providing long abstracts of 800 words.

Nic Suzor

Our Swarm Symposium keynote speaker will be Associate Professor Nic Suzor from Queensland University of Technology’s Law Faculty.

Nic studies the networked society, including the governance of the internet and social networks, the peer economy, digital copyright, regulation of and knowledge commons. He is the Legal Lead of the Creative Commons Australia project and deputy chair of Digital Rights Watch, an Australian non-profit which seeks to ensure that Australians are equipped, empowered and enabled to uphold their digital rights.