The private, personal character that makes online social networks appealing to people looking to stay in touch with friends and family is also leading data protection advocates from around the globe to criticize the sites.
Armed with some of Europe's most wide-reaching data protection laws, critics in Germany have accused social networks and other online sites of collecting and making commercial use of personal information without members' explicit permission - as required by law.
Google and Facebook are both under investigation in Germany, as well as other countries, for their privacy and data retention practices.
Deutsche Welle looks at the actions being taken against a number of Web sites and how Germans are using the Web and social media.
To what extent do the media influence reality when it comes to the Greek debt crisis? DW spoke to Hans Mathias Kepplinger, who argued that reality isn't fathomable without the media.
At the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, some of the world's most senior scientists have signed a joint declaration on climate change, backing the science, and calling for action. But what will it help?
The French city of Lyon has been hosting a climate summit. Unlike the UN talks, which take place at government level, this meeting brought regions, cities and other players together to drive climate action from below.
Oceans help regulate the climate and maintain a cozy temperature for our planet. But researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute say the seas are changing irreversibly, meaning bad news for the world's species.