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Good news, bad news, fake news, real news. The importance of trust in the age of information, disinformation and misinformation

Author: Kettemann, M.C.
Published in: Missions Publiques, Briefing materials for International Citizens’ Debates – „We, the Internet“, Paris/Berlin (Oktober 2019) / IGF Wiki
Year: 2019
Type: Other publications

Never before in the history of humankind have we had access to so much information. But the way we access this information has changed tremendously. The number of videos, books and stories we can see, read and listen to has exploded. We select what, when and on which device we see and read news and learn new information about the world and others in it. But the articles, songs, videos, broadcasts, and podcasts are not stored in public repositories – there is no global public online media provider. Rather, private actors influence according to their own standards and only loosely controlled by courts (actual courts and courts of public opinion) what people can see and find on their platforms. This can be a challenge because some private actors, and the algorithms they employ, do their best to keep us on their platforms, to keep us entertained. More time spent in their online spaces equals more potential views of ads which make them money. Therefore these companies prioritize engagement (including rage-fuelled engagement) more than the quality of content. This is changing, and many private companies have done a very convincing job of fighting bad content, but we are at an early stage. There is so much good content out there – but also news that disinform, disturb and disparage people. How can we manage this challenge – share illegal and harmful content less, push legal and trustworthy content more – in a human rights-sensitive way?

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Matthias C. Kettemann, Prof. Dr. LL.M. (Harvard)

Head of Research Group and Associate Researcher: Global Constitutionalism and the Internet

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