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📄Research Article │ 🔍Refereed🔓Open Access

Pandemic Platform Governance:
Mapping the Global Ecosystem of COVID-19 Response Apps

📂COVID-19 Apps and Platform Governance This article provides a comprehensive mapping of the global ecosystem of COVID-19 pandemic response apps. After considering policy updates by Google Play’s and Apple’s App Store, we analyse all the available response apps in July 2020; their different response types; the apps’ developers and geographical distribution; the ecosystem’s ‘generativity’ and developers’ responsiveness during the unfolding pandemic; the apps’ discursive positioning; and material conditions of their development. Google and Apple are gatekeepers of these app ecosystems and exercise control on different layers, shaping the pandemic app response as well as the relationships between governments, citizens, and other actors. We suggest that this global ecosystem of pandemic responses reflects an exceptional mode of what we call pandemic platform governance, where platforms have negotiated their commercial interests and the public interest in exceptional circumstances.

📋 ✍Cite

📋Cite (APA) Dieter, M. J., Helmond, A., Tkacz, N. van der Vlist, F. N., & Weltevrede, E. J. T. (2019). Pandemic Platform Governance: Mapping the Global Ecosystem of COVID-19 Response Apps. Internet Policy Review – Journal on Internet Regulation, 10(3). Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. DOI: 10.14763/2021.3.1568.
🔗Link (DOI)

Kind Journal Article; Original Research Article
Author M. J. Dieter; A. Helmond; N. Tkacz; F. N. van der Vlist; E. J. T. Weltevrede
Designer F. N. van der Vlist; DensityDesign Lab
Publication Date 2021, August 6 [first published online]; 2021, August 6 [issue published]
Journal Internet Policy Review – Journal on Internet Regulation
Volume 10
Issue 3
Publisher Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (Berlin, Germany)
Identifier 10.14763/2021.3.1568 [self]; 2197-6775 [part of]; ES/V004905/1 [funded by]; 275-45-009 [funded by]; 262513311 [funded by]; VI.Veni.191C.048 [funded by]
License CC BY 3.0
Data Availability The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in the Open Science Framework (OSF) at Additionally, the available Android application package (APK) files of the COVID-19 Android apps covered in this study are openly available and preserved in the ‘COVID-19 Apps’ collection of the Internet Archive at Apps.


🖇Attached Name 🕓Date Modified ↧ Kind Access
COVID-19 Apps 2021-06-17 🗄Research Data 🌍Public
[COVID-19]-Related Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store) App Ecosystems 2021-05-27 🗄Research Data 🔓Open Access
Mapping COVID-19 Pandemic Response Apps 2020-07 📝Web Report 🌍Public
ASI Reference Worksheet I: App Store Data Scraping 2020-06 📑Reference Worksheet 🌍Public
ASI Tools 2020-06 🔧Research Tools 🌍Public
Apps and Infrastructures, Computational Culture #7 2019-10-21 📗Special Issue 🔓Open Access
Apps and Infrastructures – A Research Agenda 2019-10-21 📄 📗Issue Editorial 🔓Open Access
📌 Regramming the Platform 2019-10-21 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
App (Store) Policy Histories 2019-07 📝Web Report 🌍Public
📌 Multi-Situated App Studies 2019-06-06 📄 🔍Research Article 🔓Open Access
Historical Google Play and iTunes (App) Store Charts, 2010–2019 2019-01-12 🗄Research Data 🔓Open Access
Apps and Their Stories 2019-01 📝Web Report 🌍Public
Store, Interface, Package, Connection 2018-08-30 📄Working Paper 🔓Open Access
App Stores and Their Bias 2018-07 📝Web Report 🌍Public
Apps and Infrastructures (Call for Abstracts) 2018-02-06 📢Call for Abstracts 🌍Public
Mapping Data-Intensive App Infrastructures 2018-01 📝Web Report 🌍Public
Methods Maps 2017-06 📝Web Report 🌍Public
App Stores as Data Infrastructure 2017-01 📝Web Report 🌍Public
App Studies (Conference Panel) 2016-10-31 📄 🔍Conference Proceeding 🔓Open Access