Dear friends and fellow researchers,

2018 has gotten off to an exciting start: our institute’s revamped annual research report encore is just off the presses – and it’s been transformed into a high-profile magazine on internet and society research. Share the latest issue with your friends, colleagues and family members and read what Manuel Castells, Tarleton Gillespie and José van Dijck have to add to debates on the digital society. Continue reading our newsletter to learn more about the institute’s plans for 2018, HIIG’s work on open access research, the academic lecture series with Christoph Neuberger and Elena Esposito, and much more …

We wish you an inspiring year and hope to see you soon, either in Berlin, at a conference somewhere near you, or on our website.

Jeanette Hofmann | Ingolf Pernice | Thomas Schildhauer | Wolfgang Schulz


New Project | Digital REseArch Mining

How can we facilitate access to scientific literature in the digital age? By following the principle of Tinder and using the advantages of open access? Together with FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik, we are going to develop an open access app that allows its users to swipe teasers to create their personal publication feed. The newly launched “Digital REseArch Mining (DREAM)” project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

| Read the official press announcement.

Mission Completed | Doctoral Theses

2017 was a very successful year for the doctoral candidates at our institute. Martina Dopfer, Benedikt Fecher, Maximilian von Grafenstein, Adrian Haase, Rebecca Kahn, Urs Kind, Sebastian Leuschner, Henrike Maier, Jörg Pohle, Robin Tech and Theresa Züger all successfully defended their theses. We are eagerly awaiting the completion of the next dissertation projects! In our annual research report, you can browse through...

| … all the abstracts.

Big Data and Nudging

Welcome | New Fellows in 2018

With 48 candidates from 27 countries and 5 continents, our call for applications attracted more potential fellows than ever. Edoardo Celeste (Italy) has already joined us. Tuukka Lehtiniemi (Finland) is going to start in February, followed by Mova Al’Afghani (Indonesia), Martin Riedl (Austria), Natalie Pompe (Switzerland) and Alexandra Giannopoulou (Greece). We are already looking forward to learning about their research findings!

| Interested in a research stay at HIIG too?

Pelagios | Connecting Digital Resources

Linked open data is a mechanism that allows digital resources to be connected by having something in common – be it place, person, time or something else. From 4–7 December 2017, Pelagios co-hosted the Linked Pasts III event at Stanford University, where the issues and opportunities raised by developing an ecosystem of online open materials for the study of the past were discussed. We are glad to announce that the project will continue at the HIIG until December 2019!

| Watch Rebecca Kahn introducing the linked data exploration engine.


Special Issue | Political Micro-Targeting

In the old days, reaching voters was easy: no serious Catholic would have defied the church’s advice in the polling booth. Nowadays, many parties have a different approach: big data. The Internet Policy Review, our open-access journal on internet policies recently published a special issue on the challenges and opportunities of political micro-targeting.

| Click here to read!


Cooperation | Between Startups & Mid-Sized Companies

When traditional established companies meet young, innovative startups, two worlds collide. A new study conducted by HIIG researchers Martin Wrobel, Thomas Schildhauer and Karina Preiß concludes that cooperation holds great potential for both sides. The secret to success is to break down some barriers first to be able to work together efficiently.

| Short and sweet: the executive summary.

Cyber Crimes

Dossier | Algorithms and Human Rights

From smart assistants in the justice system to intelligent systems in administration to highly developed portable devices: innovations in the field of artificial intelligence are impacting nearly every area of our everyday life. However, algorithmic decision-making has complex human rights implications. In a newly published dossier on our blog, researchers from the NoC European Hub discuss the role of law and ethics in this context.

| Explore our new blog dossier!

Debate | The Future is Already Here

What does the future hold for communication studies? Following William Gibson, one could say its future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed. Digitalisation, datafication and never-ending networking have become part of everyday life. A group of researchers – among them HIIG’s Christian Katzenbach, Christian Pentzold and Cornelius Puschmann – contributed to the debate about the field’s theoretical, methodological and empirical orientation.

| Have a look at their article.


Digitaler Salon

App’s Anatomy | 31 January

Once a month, we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on society. We invite special guests, engage in a dialogue with the audience and the Twitter community and broadcast it on YouTube. In January, we ask: with doctors in our phones tracking our cycles and analysing blood sugar levels – have family physicians become obsolete and are digital tools turning us into cyber-chondriacs?

| More information.


The Future of Sampling | 28 February

Plenty of sampling cases have reached the courts in Europe and the US over the past years – with quite contradictory outcomes. This event is part of a workshop series on “100 years of copyright” in cooperation with HKW and aims to develop ideas for a future music copyright law. Henrike Maier is inviting an interdisciplinary group of musicians, producers, social scientists and lawyers to contribute their perspectives.

| Transformative art or copyright infringement?

Knowledge in the Digital Society | 12 March

After Manuel Castell’s kick-off speech in December 2017, Christoph Neuberger is continuing our academic lecture series on 30 January. He will discuss: Are citizens empowered by digital platforms, or are they just pawns in the hands of the new digital forces? Next up in March: sociologist Elena Esposito will share her vision on artificial intelligence, uncertainty and the production of knowledge in the digital society!

| Sign up here and join the discussion about #digitalsociety!

Lecture Series

AI and Content Moderation | 20 March

Do AI applications offer genuine solutions for content moderation on digital platforms? Or is the use of automated mechanisms to take down content too risky for online expression and access to information? Yet, governments are pressuring companies to take action. It’s time to discuss the challenges inherent in this development! In cooperation with Access Now, HIIG researchers Christian Katzenbach and Kirsten Gollatz host this workshop…

| ...on the turn to AI in governing communication online.

Beyond HIIG | Events that Caught our Eye

5 – 9 Mar  |  Internet Freedom Festival, Valencia, Spain

20 Mar  |  "Take Europe to the hearts" Hackathon, Hamburg

18 – 20 Apr  |  @kit-Kongress, Berlin

20 Apr  |  DIGITAL⇌CULTURE 2018, Nottingham, UK