Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies

July 2019

Date July 2019 / Category News

For our seminar Markets and Corporations in the Open Society, I wrote an article about how social media platforms transform the political debate. Policy makers and journalists often blame social media for disseminating fake news, spreading hate speech, manipulating audiences and creating filter bubbles. However, this techno-determinist view neglects user practices and the role of mainstream media in amplifying social media messages. This article shows why most policy efforts currently underway are ill-informed and will rather limit freedom of speech and access to information.

The article will be part of an edited volume that is about to be published in September at Boom. The book launch will take place during the IOS Toogdag on 12 September.

Date July 2019 / Category News

“Data and algorithms offer many possibilities, but they are not neutral. What you analyse, which algorithms you build, the data you use and what for, these are political and ethical choices. Policy makers are insufficiently aware of this. Furthermore, basic knowledge of data literacy is absolutely necessary for local politicians.” That’s what the Dutch data expert Mirko Tobias Schäfer says in this interview with Bart Van Moerkerke for magazine Lokaal and the Association of Flamish Cities and Municipalities.

2000 - 2019 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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