The dissertation, called “The virtualization of free space and action: Advancing a modernized model of power inequity attenuation and the Free Space Index,” focuses on two main aspects of social engagement online.
First Turner examines how minority groups can advance their position in society by leveraging the power of new media. His research shows that online environments allow people to converge from a distance, and achieve social power and justice.
But he says there are apparent trade-offs. New technologies leave online social engagement open to people intent on causing harm, such as those who make and propagate defamatory statements on social media.