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big-data

The ethics of big data, Facebook & Cambridge Analytica

Facebook is under fire after the social media giant admitted it didn’t prevent data from as many as 50 million users getting to political data firm Cambridge Analytica, which it...
Mathias Voelzke Völzke info@mathiasvoelzke.com www.mathiasvoelzke.com

Power and counter-power in the digital society

How is power constituted in the digital society? Who is powerful – and how can power be countered and contested? On 12 December 2017, Manuel Castells held the opening lecture...
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Voter or consumer – double standards?

The current debate over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica also concerns the fundamental status of citizens as essential components of public opinion-forming: With their data collected, analysed and sold by social networks,...
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Understanding Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a controversial and much-discussed topic of our digital future. Aljoscha Burchardt sees a huge gap between the machines of today, which are able to act intelligently, and the...
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The future of sampling – transformative art or copyright infringement?

What do an Amazon rainforest choir, a finish flute and a synthesizer from a German electronic release have in common? They are all part of a song of the Danish...
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No, YouTube’s “trolls” won’t destroy Wikipedia

YouTube’s decision to embed Wikipedia articles under controversial videos caused a huge uproar. Commentators and scholars chastised YouTube for being lazy, for outsourcing their responsibility, or for “crushing” the online...
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Omens and algorithms: A response to Elena Esposito

Can algorithms actually predict the future? And if so, does this make them the gods of our modern society? In her lecture ‘Future and uncertainty in the digital society’, Elena...
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Hate speech and fake news – how two concepts got intertwined and politicised

On 1 October 2017, the so-called Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG) came into force with a transitional regulation. The law applies to operators of social media platforms and their...
Blockchain Innovation

Will blockchain disrupt your business?

Blockchain has been praised to be “the technology most likely to change the next decade of business”. The disruptive power of the blockchain technology is still limited, says HIIG-researcher Jessica...
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Organic search: How metaphors help cultivate the web

Tomatoes, apples and bread can be ‘organic.’ But search results? Anna Jobin and Malte Ziewitz wonder about the currency of agricultural metaphors in web search and show how they do...
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Fostering a cybersecurity mindset

What precisely is the meaning of the concept of cybersecurity – and who is responsible for its implementation? Guest author William Dutton argues that challenges in this area might require...
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From #MeToo to #RiceBunny: how social media users are campaigning in China

In Chinese, the phrase “rice bunny” is pronounced as “mi tu” and has become a nickname for the #MeToo campaign. The #RiceBunny hashtag, accompanied by emojis of rice bowls and bunny...
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The Privatised Public Sphere

The public sphere metaphor was always contested and this continues in the digital realm. While “old” debates on access, inequality and power continue, the so-called platform society has taken concerns...
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Backdoor: How a metaphor turns into a weapon

Governments want special access to encrypted data while IT specialists and privacy advocates oppose these demands. What is the role of the “backdoor” metaphor within these conflicts, often coined as...
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Chers voisins d’outre-Rhin: A french NetzDG?

In his New Years Speech French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a new law project regarding the propagation of fake news online that shall be submitted until late 2018. This...
energy-smart-innovation

Hidden treasure: User innovation in smart energy

Everybody is discussing energy cost savings. But what is the situation with Smart Energy user innovations in Germany? In this interview conducted by innogy foundation, Hendrik Send refers to a...
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Why Social Collaboration doesn’t work without participation

Digital Platforms like Yammer, Slack or Sharepoint are ushering in a new era of communication and collaboration within enterprises. They have got what it takes to boost the productivity and...
Algorithmische Entscheidungen und Menschenrechte

Algorithmic decision making and human rights

Embedded in smart technologies, algorithms are taking decisions on a daily basis. What challenges arise from algorithmic decision making for human rights and for the regulation of artificial intelligence? In...
mindtracking

Mind-tracking and the new transparent self

Have you ever wanted to monitor your steps, heart rate, sleep, or body temperature? Nowadays, we can choose from an incredible variety of wearable devices. If you aim to move...
digital-reason

On the road to digital reason?

It's not always easy to be reasonable. Very often, reason is uncomfortable and a reasonable choice can be difficult to make. Fortunately, rational algorithms promise to support us and take...
twitter-hype

Loud, influential, and hyped: How we overestimate Twitter

Fake news, Russian bots, or hate speech: Twitter is a centerpiece of modern public communication, at times claimed to have a hand in Trump’s election victory or Brexit, and journalists...
impact-school

Academic impact outside of academia

What actually is academic impact? And how can one optimise the non-academic impact of research? Those were the key questions at the first "Impact School", which was held at the...
open-metaphor

Is Open Science a tautology?

In our blog series on metaphors of the digital society, we uncover the vocabularies that are thrown around almost haphazardly these days. These terms are often deployed in the scholarly and...
Mathias Voelzke Völzke info@mathiasvoelzke.com www.mathiasvoelzke.com

Digital power-play: Manuel Castells in Berlin

Manuel Castells has been one of the first intellectuals to grasp the internet and its associated developments within a broader social theory. So, how is power constituted in the digital...
Castells: Network society

Revisiting Castells’ Network Society

We are living in a network society: Manuel Castells attracted wide attention when he published his trilogy The Information Age twenty years ago, providing a broader social theory on the...
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Co-Creating an Innovatie society with newcomer entrepreneurs

In this interview, Suhayl Chettih gives insight into the challenges of making the Berlin startup scene a more inclusive place. SINGA Business Lab (formerly known as Ideas in Motion) is...
Onlineveröffentlichungen multi-layer publishing

Data, information, interaction. A multi-layer approach in online publishing

This blog article presents the prototype of an online publication design for the recently published study “Kooperationen zwischen Startups und Mittelstand” of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and...
collaboration-startups-mid-sized

Collaboration between startups and mid-sized companies. Learn. Match. Partner.

When startups and mid-sized companies meet, two worlds collide. Startups are the main driver of digitization but inexperienced, while mid-sized companies do have experience but lack digitization expertise. Collaboration between...
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The implementation of label obligations in influencer marketing

On blogs and social networks, influencers show what brands they wear and what kind of coffee they drink. But how to sufficiently label commercial content? This article lays down the current...
anonymous

Anonymous comments on the web: The case of 4chan

Throughout the history of literature, various works have been published and written anonymously. On the Internet, “Anonymous” appears to be the most productive of all users. Does the freedom of speech...
open-blog

What kind of open access future do we want?

Open access debates are increasingly focused on “how” rather than “why”. Tony Ross-Hellauer and Benedikt Fecher present two possible scenarios for an open access future, consider the relative merits and...
automotive-blog

The evolution of the open source community and the disruption of the hardware industry

Open source hardware is not merely a buzzword any more. The increase of velocity in building innovative hardware solutions through platforms and their co-creators did not go unnoticed. In fact,...
Blog journal Elephant in the Lab

The blog journal elephantinthelab.org spots problems in science

You have probably heard the phrase “ the elephant in the room” to say that there is a problem that everyone knows, but no one talks about. As of July...
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Love, Robot

Technical actors are increasingly developed and deployed for the field of care. How does this interaction between the human and the machine change our understanding of empathy? Can machines be...
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Nothing to hide?

In our interconnected and digitised society, personal data is the new gold. Therefore, we increasingly have to deal with complex matters like privacy and data protection. But how to explain...
GameJam_16-9 Verkehr

Serious Games as a Tool for Privacy-by-Design

In a digitised society, where individual communication is increasingly based on the processing of personal data, explaining the complexity of privacy is hardly feasible. That’s why we at the Alexander...
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Governance between norms, discourse and technology

Here at irregular intervals we will publish short articles about the doctoral theses that were written at HIIG. This week we have a look at the doctoral thesis "Governance –Technik – Kommunikation....
pizza

The platform as pizza: towards a taxonomy of platforms

The ‘platform’ metaphor is at once inevitable and misleading. What’s more, we no longer regard it a metaphor. Following Tarleton Gillespie’s proposal to complement the discourse with other images, José...
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ICOs – New Rules for Startup Financing

Blog series ICO – Part II: Commercial relevance - who needs it? ICOs1 have achieved quite a significant commercial relevance within the last months: According to Smith + Crown a total...
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State hacking and IT security

It is a widely held belief that freedom and security are antagonists. This blog post addresses an issue where freedom and security are on the same side: IT security, especially...
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Telecommunications service providers get more authorities for more IT-security

In summer 2017, the German legislature has fully implemented the European Directive on Network and Information Security. In addition to transposing the  European minimal standards, the German lawmaker adopted new...
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About tested campaign promises and burst bubbles

Before the elections in Germany different voting advice applications appeared . Many of those online tools are purely informative, other tools like the Wahl-o-mat show the user's political proximity to...
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Customer, reader or activist? Citizens in the process of digitising government

The party platforms for the German general election 2017 agree on one point: Public administration ought to be digitised. Yet, the views differ on what is to be achieved by...
election-personalised-search

How significant is algorithmic personalization in searches for political parties and candidates? Part II

Of the many things we do online, search is probably the most common. Beyond messaging, entertainment, shopping, and a myriad of other activities, utilizing search engines, such as Google, to...
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Harmful online speech and the role of collective identities

Harmful speech or hate speech is a tragic part of online communication. By examining the how users talk to each other about climate change in online comment sections of German...
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The Platform Metaphor, Revisited

The most successful internet businesses are based on the idea of offering a platform. Author Tarleton Gillespie discusses the hidden meaning of this popular and widely accepted metaphor and reveals...
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Social media usage as a marketing tool for video content

This article analyses how different film and video formats like movies (cinema), series (TV or VoD) and webseries make use of social media platforms as communication tools (facebook, twitter and...
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Digital research politics

Digitalisation changes science and research. This simple insight is also present in the programs of German parties, although not to the same extent and with different foci. Which German parties...
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The secrets of de-peering

Handbooks, conferences, best practice documents – there are many resources to turn to in order to learn about Internet peering. But when it comes to de-peering, networkers are mostly left...
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Algorithms, robots and smart machines: How German parties deal with AI

Will it be necessary in the future to have the algorithms of your digital assistants checked by state authorities? This might depend on the results of the German parliamentary election...
election-personalised-search

How significant is algorithmic personalization in searches for political parties and candidates?

Of the many things we do online, search is probably the most common. Beyond messaging, entertainment, shopping, and a myriad of other activities, utilizing search engines, such as Google, to...
Life_is_Sharing_(8188824613)

Sharing – from ploughshares to file sharing and beyond

The metaphor of sharing is central to the workings of social media and indeed to computer-mediated communication in its broadest sense. Online sharing includes posting statuses, photos and videos; it...
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Form follows function? Challenging the academic narrative

The internet has fundamentally changed the way researchers work and collaborate, but has had less impact on the way they publish their results. We ask how scientific reports should be...
Startups

Getting serious? Where is the startup scene heading to at Elbe and Spree?

To improve Germany – and Berlin and Hamburg in particular – as a business location for startups, we depend on high-quality data and information how these startup ecosystems perform in...
Knowledge-sharing

DeepGreen: Open-Access-Transformation

Supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the DeepGreen project aims to transfer academic publications which can be made freely accessible into open access. This process will be automated using...
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The ICO Revolution

The startup-investment market is preparing for the next revolution: Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). While most financial institutes and investors are still busy, getting a gist of crpto-currencies and blockchain technology, ICO...
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Webseries seek their position in media

What is so special about webseries? And how relevant is this short format? In this article I will provide insights into financing and distribution of german webseries, recent developments of...
Go virtual

Augmented and virtual reality applications that matter

In this second part of his series: startup and technology trends 2017, Robin Tech discusses augmented and virtual reality technologies. He touches upon applications in the fields of gaming, pornography,...
nature-laptop-outside-macbook

Most read blog post 2015: Why we need anonymity. The Tor Network under general suspicion.

This blog post was the most read in 2016 and was originally published on 5 August 2016.  The Tor Network is one of the most relevant solutions to enter the...
uncertainty

Uncertainty is key

In order to manufacture internet connectivity, network operators around the globe make a joint effort. As of today, they have interconnected more than 55,000 Autonomous Systems. By the measure of...
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Artificial intelligence, human powerlessness – rediscovering human intelligence with AI

How does the relation between humans and machines change in light of growing artificial intelligence and is human intelligence decreasing, because more and more humans are being programmed by their...
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Replication is a matter of impact

In their first blogpost the authors argued for the conduction of more replication studies that e.g. use the same data. In this entry they look at how reputation and replication are entangled....
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Capturing the Uncapturable – How To Represent Performance Online

‘Performance’s only life is in the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other...
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The pain will pass, yet, the title might stay. Part 2

A year ago I sat down and tried to look at my life as a PhD student like a theater play. By taking a somewhat ironic meta-perspective, I attempted to describe...
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Social Scientists and Replications: Tell Me What You Really Think!

NOTE: This entry is based on the article, "Perceptions and Practices of Replication by Social and Behavioral Scientists: Making Replications a Mandatory Element of Curricula Would Be Useful". In times...
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Report of the III. interdisciplinary workshop “Privacy, Datenschutz & Surveillance”

This report of the III. interdisciplinary workshop «Privacy, Datenschutz & Surveillance» was written by Jörg Pohle. Bereits zum dritten Mal (Bericht I. Workshop, Bericht II. Workshop) luden Jörg Pohle (Humboldt Institut...
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Blockchain technology: From privacy advocacy to supply chains

Originally developed to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin possible, Blockchain technology has become a huge phenomenon that attracts both hacktivists and venture capitalists. How do these different groups come together and...
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Why a view is not always a view

To measure the reach of online content on the different existing platforms you need a consistent standard. For example on Facebook three seconds count as a view while on YouTube...
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Stop counting, start thinking!

Everything has become indexed and ranked – from democracy, freedom of the net, rule of law to E-government. The UN’s recently published 9th E-government survey, which ranks the eGovernment status...
CrowdSciencePic

Crowd Science

Online platforms offer a variety of opportunities for volunteers to engage in the process of knowledge generation. How are Crowd Science projects brought into being and how do they work? An insight....
E-lending

One copy one user – EU-Recht erlaubt E-Lending

While copyright rules allow the lending of a printed book from a library, it was all but clear whether the same goes for e-lending. Last week, the Court of Justice...
Strafzettel

E-Government upside down

Imagine that you were almost twenty years old and you wanted to change the world by helping people who are somehow barred from enforcing their rights, what would you do?...
open access

Open Access or: Recapturing autonomy

With regard to open access, the academic world is once again on the verge of reverting to a dependence on large publishers. But it doesn’t have to be this way,...
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Science goes darknet?

Why do many scientists publish their revolutionary ideas under a cryptical pseudonym on open access platforms? Sönke Bartling, associated researcher at HIIG, is analysing what is behind this trend.  Scientists...
hackathon2

Legal Hackathon: Privacy and Security by Design for the IoT

Germany’s first Legal Hackathon “Building Standards of Privacy- and Security-by-Design for the IoT” took place in Berlin at the AoIR 2016: Internet Rules!, the annual conference of the worldwide biggest...
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Science talks – but nobody is listening?

The German Energiewende is both: a wonderful example for the German tradition of composite words as it combines energy and transition and, thus, a practical description of the ambitious political...
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Digital Transformation – yes, please. But how?

Digitalization is a buzzword that has received a lot of attention in both politics and business. The question arises how German businesses handle this change and how each business can...
Eureka

How Blockchain can foster innovation in science

Academia is stuck in an analogue thinking. Blockchain technology, a decentral storage system, has the capacity to make digital goods immutable, transparent, and provable and it could solve many of the issues...
professionelles Videostudio

Is this actually still user-generated content on Youtube?

The division between professional media and user-generated content on YouTube can hardly be maintained any more. Web videos are increasingly more professional, especially because amateurs are often supported by specialised companies....
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5 questions to…

Max Hänska, Lecturer/Assistant Prof. at De Montfort Universitaet in Leicester, GB. His research topics are Social Media in political communication and grassroot journalism as well as the role of communication that...