Universiteit Leiden

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Research project


RESOCIAL (“User vulnerabilities and Resilience on SOCIAL media platforms and the metaverse: a sociolegal and design perspective”, an NWO-NWA Synergy Grant Project) seeks to identify, measure, and thereby mitigate human vulnerabilities on social media platforms (including the metaverse and immersive technologies), thereby fostering the resilience of their users.

2024 - 2026
Gianclaudio Malgieri
NWA programme Vulnerability and resilience in an online society

RESOCIAL (whose whole title is 'User Vulnerabilities and Resilience on SOCIAL Media Platforms and the Metaverse')  brings together an impressive team of co-applicants. This includes four members from Leiden Law School – Dr Michael Klos (Institute of Jurisprudence), Prof. Simone van der Hof (eLaw), Dr Carlotta Rigotti (eLaw), and Prof. Vanessa Mak (Institute of Private Law) – along with two other distinguished academics: Dr M. Birna van Riemsdijk, an Associate Professor of Intimate Computing at the University of Twente, and Dr Ben Wagner, an Associate Professor of Human Rights and Technology at both the University of Delft and InHolland University.

The RESOCIAL project aims to delve into human vulnerability within social media and the metaverse. Over its two-year duration, it will support three post-doc researchers and two assistants. A key focus of the project is the development of a comprehensive framework for assessing the impact of these platforms on fundamental rights. It will also establish best practices for creating social media designs sensitive to user vulnerabilities and implementing EU law in a manner attentive to these vulnerabilities. The laws in focus include the Digital Services Act, the AI Act, and the GDPR.

Furthermore, the project is set to collaborate with notable Cooperation Partners from various institutions and sectors of civil society. These include the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets, the Dutch Data Protection Authority, UNICEF, the Future of Privacy Forum, BEUC, ALLAI, Equality Now, Offlimits, Vulnera, AUDRi, and the SIDN Fonds. This multi-disciplinary approach underscores the project's commitment to addressing the complexities of online vulnerability and resilience.

The research objectives of RESOCIAL are:
RO1: Propose and validate a clear framework to measure risks and human vulnerabilities on social media platforms.
RO2: Analyse the gaps in the existing and proposed legislation on digital platform and formulate action perspectives for the Dutch Government, including Guidelines on platform regulation.
RO3: Propose and validate best practices that can lead to a Code of Conduct for Vulnerability on Social Media model. 

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