Knowledge

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 different work for different users. This article is part of our blog series How metaphors shape the digital society. Do you prefer your search results…

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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 a certain mindset among internet users. Is this indeed a significant shift in thinking about cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is a broad concept encompassing the “technologies, processes, and…

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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 “Crypto Wars”? Leontine Jenner takes a closer look at the metaphor’s many layers. Dossier: How metaphors shape the digital society “UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just…

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Can a black box be trusted?

Does our life really improve with algorithmic decision-making? Big Data-based models often reflect our very own biases of society. Further, in some cases it can be hard to look into the “black boxes”. Who can be held accountable when something goes wrong – the human or the machine? What ethical challenges are we facing and…

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