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Regulated freedom of expression: Can human rights be protected by algorithms?

19. June 2017 @ 18:30 - 21:00

By definition, an algorithm is nothing more than a “clear-cut rule of action to solve a problem or a class of problems. Algorithms consist of many finitely well-defined individual steps.” In our networked world, however, the algorithm has become synonymous with the opportunities and dangers of digitization. Algorithms allow social networks to scan the huge amount of information to find the messages that are of interest to users.  At the same time, the algorithm can become a powerful censorship tool by automatically blocking certain messages or filtering them out of search results.

Recently it became public that Youtube – probably inadvertently – suppressed LGBT videos in a filter for children and teenagers, because the algorithms of the video platform rated the contributions as inappropriate for younger viewers. This leads us to the question: how do algorithms have to be set up to effectively protect human rights in digital space? Who should control their use – and is there a realm in our lives, where we have to abandon the use of algorithms for human rights reasons?

These and other questions will be discussed by Daniel Moßbrucker, Speaker for Internet Freedom at Reporters Without Borders, Ulrich Kelber, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; Jan Kottmann, Head of Media Policy of Google Germany and Lorena Jaume-Palasí, co-founder of the initiative Algorithm Watch.

The event will be moderated by Prof. Anja Mihr, Head of the Center on Governance through Human Rights.

The event is part of the event series “Governance through Human Rights in the digital space” taking place in spring/summer 2017 in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the Viadrina Center Internet and Human Rights, Reporters without Boarders, the Berlin University of Arts (Universität der Künste) und Posteo.


19. June 2017
18:30 - 21:00
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TAGESSPIEGEL, Askanischer Platz 3, 10963 Berlin