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Free Content From digital solutionism to materialist accountability: The urgency of new interventions

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How to reconcile the usefulness of digital tools and their adoption into environmental initiatives and sustainability projects, with the extensive environmental damages of the digitization itself? Despite a growing number of critical voices, pointing to environmental footprints of digital communication and the systemic blindness towards those in media analysis, the subject still remains on the margins of media studies. This article suggests reorienting the field towards materialist accountability: placing the analysis of digital harms geographically and historically; examining the silences and erasures of our own scholarship; being attentive to which technologies, and where, are inflicting harm on who; and asking what is our own responsibility as privileged media users in industrialized nations.
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Keywords: digital harms; digital solutionism; eco-ethics; materialist accountability; sustainability; techno-optimism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000107905329Manchester Metropolitan University

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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