IGF 2018 WS #71 Data Access Initiative: Safeguarding pluralism online

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Organizer 1: Iva Nenadic, Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, European University Institute
Organizer 2: Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha, CMPF EUI - ITS Rio
Organizer 3: Theresa Züger, Media authority Berlin-Brandenburg (mabb)
Organizer 4: Lucien Steinberg, Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, European University Institute

Speaker 1: Spielkamp Matthias, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Theresa Züger, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Relevance: 

Our proposed workshop centers around the question how should media authorities in Europe (jointly) respond to power held by online platforms in deciding on citizens’ access to relevant and diverse information and viewpoints. We aim to answer this important and complex question through the Data Access Initiative, that was founded by the Media Policy Lab, a project of the media authority Berlin-Brandenburg (mabb). It is an initiative that strives to formulate and discuss regulatory questions not only with regulatory bodies, but also with NGOs, research institutions, and platforms themselves. Platforms like Facebook and Google collect information on interests and social activities, on our routines, explicit and implicit opinions and desires. This data, especially in an accumulated analysis, offers insights into opinion formation and media usage habits on a large scale. This provides knowledge on individual data trails and on political and social behaviour of citizens on a collective level. The information asymmetry that results from the disclosed analysis of this data opens up a field of questions such as: Are certain types of content privileged compared to others, and how do these choices influence our perception of information or the quality of public discourse? In an attempt to better understand the challenges to be able to propose concrete responses four activities were so far planed within the Initiative. First workshop was held in Berlin in the first half of 2018. Second, multi-stakeholder workshop will take place in June in Florence, and the results of this intense work will be further discussed at the autumn meeting of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA). If accepted, the workshop at the IGF 2018 would allow us to discuss our progress and ideas with a broader community.

Session Content: 

The session will be structures around four key themes that are currently in the focus of the Data Access Initiative: transparency, data access, non-discrimination, and public value. Some of the questions that we want to pose are: How should an efficient and transparent process to monitor digital media pluralism in intermediaries be designed? Which bodies should be involved as part of the monitoring process? Which roles should civil society play in this regard? Which information must be provided to ensure that manipulation and discrimination do not occur? To which extent is transparency possible and necessary? Access to what specific data would be necessary and sufficient to fulfil the safeguard function? How can data protection and private property rights be balanced in this process to best serve democratic values? Proposed speakers are: Theresa Züger, mabb (confirmed), Mario viola, CMPF (confirmed), Matthias Spielkamp, AlgorithmWatch (confirmed), David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for FoE (tbc), Andy O'Connell, Global Public Policy at Facebook (tbc)

Interventions: 

We plan to structure the session around four key themes that are currently in the focus of the Data Access Initiative: transparency, data access, non-discrimination, and public value. Our selected speakers will briefly introduce our progress on each of the themes and add the provocation that should stimulate the discussion and interventions from the audience on site (and online).

Diversity: 

Our session is organised by a small group (four people) that represent two genders, four countries in three continents (Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Germany), and two different stakeholders (intergovernmental academic institution and media authority). In addition, the session will have speakers representing academia, government, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and probably platforms (tbc).

Online Participation: 

Our online moderator, who is an expert on social media communication, will develop a strategy that includes both: coordinating and informing our online community about the workshop before it takes place (collecting their inputs, suggestions and questions, stimulating them also to take part in the live online participation), and involving online community during the workshop by dedicating a special time and channel for their contributions. In addition to the onsite speakers we also plan to have a remote intervention.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The discussion is in general planed in four rounds: first, selected speakers will briefly introduce our progress on each of the themes and add the provocation that should stimulate the discussion second, the table will be open for interventions in the room third, we will engage the online attendees finally, the moderator will wrap up and propose further steps of the Initiative

Onsite Moderator: 

Iva Nenadic

Online Moderator: 

Lucien Steinberg

Rapporteur: 

Mario Viola

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678