Algorithmic Accountability

The hidden human labour behind search engine algorithms

Everybody knows that search engines use algorithms, but few know how these work and who builds them. Paško Bilić, Research Associate at the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb, Croatia, writes here about the layers of human labour behind Google’s algorithms and their implications for search neutrality. His post is based on a paper published in Big […]

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    Unpacking the black box of digitalization: will “sustainability thinking” empower citizens in a data-driven world?

Unpacking the black box of digitalization: will “sustainability thinking” empower citizens in a data-driven world?

Data and the algorithms that organise it are core to many services in the digitalised world. Jonny Shipp, Director of Public Affairs at Telefónica SA and a Visiting Fellow at LSE and Dr Ioanna Noula, researcher at the UCL Institute of Education and a Visiting Fellow at LSE, write here about the ethics of data science and how to […]

Your next social network could pay you for posting

Social networking is one of the most popular online activities, used by 73% of online adults in the UK, according to Ofcom, and there have been concerns raised about the kind of power that this puts in the hands of tech companies like Facebook. Jelena Dzakula, a researcher here at the Media Policy Project and a lecturer at the […]

Facebook is a new breed of editor: a social editor

Facebook’s approach to allowing, censoring or prioritising content that appears in the news feed has recently been the focus of much attention, both media and governmental. Professor Natali Helberger of the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam argues that we need to seek to understand the new kind of editorial role that Facebook is playing, in […]

Big data analytics: Q&A with Professor Oscar H. Gandy, Jr

Professor Oscar H. Gandy, Jr., is Emeritus Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Following a public lecture at LSE titled ‘Surveillance and the Public Sphere: confronting a democratic dilemma’, Catherine Speller interviews Professor Gandy about some of the issues around big data analytics that he raised in his lecture.

In your talk at LSE, your […]

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    Algorithmic Fairness: From social good to a mathematical framework

Algorithmic Fairness: From social good to a mathematical framework

Following a special workshop convened by the Media Policy Project on ‘Automation, Prediction and Digital Inequalities’, Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Associate Professor at the School of Computing, University of Utah, here outlines the case for interrogating the inner workings of algorithms. A summary of the workshop will be available on this website shortly.

The algorithm is out of the box. Decision-by-algorithm is no […]

What’s at Stake in Algorithmic Accountability

Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at LSE, explores the challenges for social theory and civic debate in addressing the outcomes of automated systems and decision making.

We live in a time when the contexts of knowledge production are changing fundamentally: the multiple interlinked processes that generate claims to knowledge (from data collection and aggregation to data […]

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    Algorithmic Transparency and Platform Loyalty or Fairness in the French Digital Republic Bill

Algorithmic Transparency and Platform Loyalty or Fairness in the French Digital Republic Bill

Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay, Researcher at the Institute of Communication Sciences, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Paris Sorbonne, and Visiting Fellow at the LSE, examines the Digital Republic Bill, a new French Bill on digital rights and the impact it might have on citizens and their data.

On 26 January 2016, the French National Assembly voted […]

The Challenges of Researching Algorithms

In the debate on algorithmic accountability, and platform responsibility more specifically, the contribution of the social researcher is immense. In this set of posts, researchers reflect upon broad themes of control and agency — not only that which is faced by the data subject, but also by the researcher who relies on proprietary platforms to understand how these systems […]

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    Transparency has to be open to all and designed with a purpose in mind

Transparency has to be open to all and designed with a purpose in mind

Nick Anstead, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media & Communications at LSE, outlines a number of important issues related to the growing role of algorithms – be it in government, banking, information sharing or security – and the impact they are having on wider society.

One of the major problems that became apparent in our conversation was one I had encountered […]