Project Details


At the turn of the 21st century, tools to easily capture and share content online became widely accessible, free and easy-to-use, leading to a growing interest in citizens being able to contribute to public information. Citizen journalism became the focus of a great deal of attention from professional journalists, media critics, academics, and the public. However, especially on websites, the media companies generally started to promote the idea that journalism is “easy” and anyone can do it, rather than emphasizing the responsibilities that users accept when sharing information with the public. This is to say that while citizens were offered an opportunity to participate, they were given to believe that this participation required little effort or training, and implied no responsibilities. This research will evaluate how users are positioned by the technical demands and the user agreements of the biggest social media sites. The analysis will consider one main challenge: the tension between what is profitable – making access easy and quick, therefore maximizing the number of users on a platform – and what is in the best interests of an informed citizenry in a democratic society – creating some barriers to access in order to oblige users to make more effort and accept a level of responsibility more than simply not breaking the law. Ultimately, this project hopes to help understand the potential of journalists and social media users to cultivate empathy, and to sustain an argument about the responsibilities of, and ethics codes guiding the behavior of, both journalists and citizens sharing content in any medium.
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/05/26


  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia: €226,619.22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Social media
  • Citizen journalism
  • Online users
  • Ethics


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