Newsletter #04
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The Power of Algorithms – The Automated Public Sphere  

Algorithms are currently changing the media world and media use fundamentally. Reason enough for MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin to profoundly engage with the topic this year.
  • Prof. Frank Pasquale (University of Maryland) is opening #MCB17 with a keynote on the power of algorithms
  • SHARE Lab is visualising the process and data usage behind Facebook’s newsfeed 
  • Discussion on safeguarding plurality of opinion in digital media society
Frank Pasquale is a professor of law at the University of Maryland and one of the world-leading experts when it comes to transparency and control of algorithms. He views the increasing relevance of algorithms critically and blames them, amongst other things, for the populism raging on social media these days. Pasquale’s keynote on the topic of The Automated Public Sphere, which will open the media-political focus of MCB on the re:publica stage 1, is covering said dangers. Beyond that, he will illustrate methods of solution as well. Pasquale argues, for example, that consumers and data protection authorities, anti-monopoly and media supervision agencies should cooperate to ensure effective surveillance for digital platforms and to be able to intervene on a regulatory level as the case may be. But he even goes further: Pasquale poses the question whether it might be time for a cultural shift, which would entail having to scrutinise our relationship with media and the consumption thereof fundamentally. Watch a very short video interview with Frank Pasquale on the topic of his MCB17 keynote here.
Mapping Facebook's Algorithmic Empire: Prof. Vladan Joler and Djordje Krivokapic of the SHARE Foundation are visualising the process and data usage behind Facebook’s newsfeed at MCB17. On a map, the audience can watch how Facebook is recording, evaluating and influencing our interactions and activity. How does the platform decide which news to inject into our feeds and timelines? After the presentation, Dr. Julia Powles of Cornell Tech und Dr. Ben Wagner (SWP – German Institute for International and Security Affairs) will discuss the power of platforms, the influence of digitisation on our daily lives and the effects of multiple companies and technologies recording and evaluating our online behaviour.
Finally, the panel Plurality over Filters. Digital Platforms Targeted by Regulationswill explore how plurality of opinion can be safeguarded in digital media society and where regulatory measures should take effect in order to ensure diversity and equal access in the face of the market power of the great platforms, and to protect users.
MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin is one of Europe’s pionieering media congresses. It is held by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (mabb) on behalf of the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg. This year, the congress is taking place for the fourth time in cooperation with re:publica at STATION Berlin. From 8 to 10 May 2017, the stages of #MCB17 are dedicated to current issues of media and Internet politics, market trends and developments of digital media society. MCB and re:publica are once again expecting about 8,000 visitors from over 60 countries.

Project Management (Medienboard): Dr. Anna-Sarah Vielhaber:
Project Management (mabb): Anneke Plaß:
Press: Achim Klapp / Wilhelm Nöldeke: +49 173 297 08 19, +49 179 866 56 67,
Sponsoring / Events: Jessica Fuchs +49 (0) 331-743 87 61,
Media Partnerships: Laura Winkler +49 (0) 331 74387 62, #mcb17

MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin is held by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (mabb) in cooperation with re:publica and on behalf of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg.

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