Public Interest Research


Public Round Table

More than four billion people around the world use social media and other digital infrastructures every day, and yet knowledge on how algorithms control information and communication on such platforms is limited.

It remains mostly opaque which data is shared with the users based on which decisions. The importance of getting scientific and legal access to data to produce knowledge of public interest has become clear in the light of diverse scandals, such as the case of Cambridge Analytica.

On 24 February 2022, the to discuss challenges for public interest research and future research priorities. The public round table was part of the Virtual Winter School "Taming the iMonster: Regulating digital platforms''. Bringing together experts from social sciences, law and operations research, themes and topics relevant for science, policy and civil society were discussed. The roundtable convened experts from different backgrounds: John Albert, policy and advocacy manager at AlgorithmWatch, Wolfie Christl, digital rights activist and investigative researcher at Cracked Labs, Johnathan Gray, associate professor at King’s College London and co-founder of the Public Data Lab, Jürgen Pfeffer, professor of computational social science and big data at the Technical University of Munich, and Theresa Züger, head of the Public Interest AI research group at the Alexander von  Humboldt  Institute  for  Internet  and  Society discussed with us their experiences and visions for research in the public interest.

A blog post with a summary of the discussion can be found here.

The recording of the session is on one of the platforms that we discussed.