Fifth Edition of the Research Monitor on Information Intermediaries is devoted to central norms of a democratic public sphere.
For one and a half years we have been dealing with the question: How do social networks, video platforms, news aggregators and search engines affect the public discourse? We condense the results of current scientific studies and research projects on behalf of the Landesanstalt für Medien NRW.
The current issue (German) of the Research Monitor focuses on the norms of participation and diversity as significant components of a democratic public sphere. If we use intermediary applications, we basically consume more news and information than if we do not use them. Yet they do not reflect the diversity of content that is fundamentally available online. To understand why this is so, some knowledge is needed. Only then is it possible to identify the set points that enable a diverse democratic discourse and the participation of many.
“If we really want to realize more diversity and participation, we must finally devote ourselves to the architecture of intermediate offerings. This means that we also have to deal with the development of algorithmic systems that select information for us. This is neither a niche topic, nor is it a purely online phenomenon. It shapes our view of the world and the valuation patterns according to which we act. To formulate it boldly: What is made by usually medium-aged, white, well-situated men in the small circle for successful enterprises, reproduces a completely certain and very limited perspective on the world”, concludes Jaana Müller-Brehm, Policy Advisor at iRights.Lab, from her work on the research monitor.
All issues are available here (German).
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