FairNews: News provision in a Big Data era

Equal access to news is a precondition for a well-functioning democracy. Data analytics and personalized recommendations make it possible to pre-sort news based on individual user profiles and social sorting.

This project investigates to what extent algorithms can and may go into filtering information for the purpose of "fairness". If access to information is not equal, this can have major consequences for freedom of expression and non-discrimination.

This research also contributes to explaining why algorithms show certain behaviour, i.e. transparency. The results lead to a fair-recommender system that makes bias in news recommendations visible.

In this project, computer scientists, communication and information law scientists from the University of Amsterdam and TU Delft work together with de Volkskrant on demonstrations and tests with news users to stimulate the debate about fair news provision. The findings of this project also contribute greatly to the programme-wide understanding of what we mean by responsible access to and use of big data.

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