Do Facebook, Google & Co. threaten our democracy? Event by IÖR, Cologne, 26.11.2019

Do Facebook, Google & Co. threaten our democracy?
Challenges for Public-Service Media on the Internet
(in German)
Symposium on media policy by Initiativkreis öffentlich-rechtlicher Rundfunk (IÖR; Initiative Public-Service Broadcast)
Stadtbibliothek Köln
Josef-Haubrich-Hof 1, 50676 Köln
26 November 2019, 13.00h
registration free of charge untill 20.11.2019 here.

There will be presentations by Armin Grunwald, Head of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis Karlsruhe (ITAS) and Head of the Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB) and by Klaus Unterberger, Head of the Public Value Competence Centre of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). For the following discussion, they will be joined by Constanze Kurz, speaker of the Chaos Computer Club and team member of the internet platform, Florian Hager, programme manager of the young content network of ARD and ZDF “funk”, and Dieter Dörr, professor for media law at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The discussion will be moderated by freelance journalist Brigitte Baetz.

Negative developments on the Internet are currently the focus of public discussion: algorithms that manipulate us and possibly democratic elections, fake news that spread faster than the true facts or the brutalization of language by hate comments and insults against politicians and celebrities.

But are these phenomena perhaps only symptoms of a development that has much deeper causes? Are the systems of the large Internet companies still controllable at all? (The video of the Christchurch assassin, for example, spread so quickly that it could no longer be completely deleted.)

What does it mean for a democratic society if the economic interests of the large Internet companies can have a decisive influence on what information the individual receives and what topics are discussed in society?

How can public service broadcasting, which is oriented towards the common good, counteract the danger of an economization of social communication and do justice to its mission, which was given to it by the Constitution, to bring the diversity of opinions in democracy to bear appropriately and truthfully on the Internet, so that the prerequisites for democratic decision-making are preserved?

Download the Flyer (PDF).

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