For many, if not most people, information on almost any topic is just a click away. Google and other search engines are increasingly giving us what we want to know. They tame the torrents of data on the Internet, opening the world up to us. Hidden algorithms manage the information reaching us and influencing what we think, what we do, what we feel - forming our perception of the world. From users' tracked data, search engines collate individual profiles - which lock them out of other information categories. Internet censorship and other repressive measures by some governments prevent search engines from accessing data freely available elsewhere on the globe. Hence users get filtered information.
So is free and comprehensive information delivery from the Internet only an illusion? What are the outcomes of the commercial interests of search engine giants determining individual information delivery? What is the upshot of state agencies restricting access to information available on the web? How will we be affected by algorithms increasingly shaping our world view?
Bunz, Dr. Mercedes
Journalist, Cultural Scientist, Author, London, United Kingdom
Eumann, Dr. Marc Jan
State Secretary in the Ministry of Federal Affairs, European Affairs and Media of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
Freelance Journalist, Berlin, Germany
Zeier, Kristin (Moderator)
Deutsche Welle, Bonn, Germany