Merkel says Facebook and Google “distort perception”..demands they “reveal algorithms”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched a broadside at internet media giants, accusing them of “narrowing perspective,” and demanding they disclose their privately-developed algorithms. Merkel previously blamed social media for anti-immigrant sentiment and the rise of the far right.
“The algorithms must be made public, so that one can inform oneself as an interested citizen on questions like: what influences my behavior on the internet and that of others?” said Merkel during a media conference in Berlin on Tuesday.
“These algorithms, when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they narrow our breadth of information.”
Google uses an algorithm to decide which search results are first shown to a user, while Facebook arranges the order of the news feed, and decides to include certain posts from a user’s liked pages and friends, at the expense of others. Both sites also promote links to news articles, often based on a user’s own media interests.
These algorithms are at the core of the intellectual property of any social media or search website, and comprise some of the most highly-protected trade secrets in the world, potentially worth billions. No internet giant has ever revealed its inner workings.
Merkel did not specifically name Facebook, Google or Twitter, but implied that the large platforms are creating “bubbles” of self-reinforcing views, and squeezing out smaller news providers.
“The big internet platforms, via their algorithms, have become an eye of a needle which diverse media must pass through to reach users,”warned Merkel. “This is a development that we need to pay careful attention to.”
The internet giants themselves have argued that the so-called social media bubble is largely a myth, and that online users have a wider access to differing views than under a pre-internet model, where most news would be acquired from just a handful of newspapers and one or two TV channels.
a little burst of truth comes out of the mouth of an elite..
“These algorithms are at the core of the intellectual property of any social media or search website, and comprise some of the most highly-protected trade secrets in the world, potentially worth billions. No internet giant has ever revealed its inner workings.”
so dont hold your breath..