Digital Platforms in Asia: The Politics of Labour, Health, and Regulation

Digital Platforms in Asia: The Politics of Labour, Health, and Regulation

This event brings together researchers exploring the relationship between digital platforms and labour, health, and regulation across Asia.

  • When: Friday 31st March 2023, 2pm to 4pm
  • Where: Room 37-224, level 2, The Joyce Ackroyd Building, UQ, St Lucia

Please register your attendance so we can adhere to room capacity. If you find you are no longer able to attend after you have registered, please cancel your tickets.

About this event

This event will offer several talks from researchers exploring digital platforms and the politics of labour, health, and regulation in the context of Asia followed by an open discussion chaired by DCS post-doctoral researcher Dr Andrew Dougall .


A/Prof Pradip Thomas (UQ) – Introducing his new book Digital Platform Regulation: Exemplars, Approaches, and Solutions.

Over the last decade or two, a handful of powerful, monopolist platforms have embraced our lives worldwide. They intermediate our socialities and relationships, what we search for on the Internet, and our online purchases. We are living in a global economy that is fuelled by the monetization of affect. One is now only too aware that various platforms are very systematically using the advantages stemming from algorithmic power and platform externalities to mine and privatize personal data that is in turn sold to advertisers who target not just the present but also future economic behaviours of users. One now also hears of the complicity of some of these platforms in data breaches that have contributed to the making and unmaking of political fortunes of key political parties across geographies. This unprecedented power of platforms is, however, being challenged today. Data breaches, evidence of platform manipulations, platform complicities with state surveillance, and their monopolist behaviours and its consequences for competition and data privacy have become the basis for regulatory responses from governments throughout the world. National and regional courts of law have collected a lot of evidence on myriad forms of platform illegalities that discriminate against competitors and that point to the privatization of personal data on a global scale.

Pradip Ninan Thomas is Associate Professor at the School of Communication and Arts at UQ. His research focusses on media and religion, the political economy of communications, the media in India, and communications for social change.

Dr Giang Nguyen (UQ) – Talk on her recent fieldwork that explores delivery drivers in Vietnam as a part of a broader project that looks at digital transactions in Asia.

Giang Nguyen-Thu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Digital Cultures and Societies. She obtained her doctorate at UQ in 2016. In 2020, she returned to UQ as a postdoctoral fellow at IASH after several years working in Vietnam and the US. Her book Television in Post-Reform Vietnam: Nation, Media, Market (Routledge 2019) is the first monograph in the English language about contemporary Vietnamese media. Her current ethnographic project unpacks the plural temporalities of digital life in Vietnam to reveal how social hope and endurance are tangled in unexpected ways that challenge the taken-for-granted seamlessness of the digital.

Doctoral Candidate Nishtha Bharti (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi) –Digital Health Futures in India: Transformative Promises and Critical Realities

This talk will highlight the techno-optimist narratives weaved around precision medicine and digital health initiatives in India and critically engage with their promise to bring about transformative change in the public health landscape through a shift to digitisation, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

Nishtha is a doctoral candidate at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and presently holds Visiting Researcher positions at the Centre for Policy Futures, UQ and the Department of Philosophy, Queen's University, Canada. She works at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Political Theory. Her research interests revolve around innovation trajectories in healthcare, regulation of emergent biomedical technologies, alternative medical epistemologies and pharmaceutical politics.

Dr Andrew Dougall (UQ) - Chairing the discussion

Andrew Dougall is an International Relations researcher whose work deals with the relationship between communication media and international order. He is currently finalising a book project on media’s contribution to nationalist order challenges in 19th century Britain and the 21st century United States. The next phase of his work examines the politics of liberal ordering through the prism of labour-intensive digital mediation practices, such as content moderation and generative AI. Andrew is currently a post doctoral research fellow at Digital Cultures and Societies at the University of Queensland.

For more information see the registration page for this event: Digital Platforms in Asia: The Politics of Labour, Health, and Regulation

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Find out more about Digital Cultures & Societies on our website: Digital Cultures & Societies at UQ