Unbiased and privacy-respectful discovery of content and services

May 04 2018

Enabling unbiased and privacy-respectful discovery of content, services and metadata on the Web, also in a real-time local context. This will lead to higher trustworthiness of the Internet for the users, more openness of content and enhancement of creativity and human potential through alternative access to various types of content andservices.

The internet and especially the web are constantly changing, as billions of people add, shift, modify and remove content and services. To find their way around, internet users heavily depend on a small set of active intermediaries such as search engines, social networks and platforms. This strong dependency carries a number of very signifcant risks:

  • an intermediary may (either intentionally or non-intentionally) act as a gatekeeper (block certain things),
  • exhibit an unfair (economical, political, social or other) bias and,
  • intimately track, analyse and influence user behaviour.

At internet scale, looming dominance of a few large intermediaries is fed back into the decision process during creation and promotion decisions of content and services. This leads to a vicious cycle which reinforces dominance and as such has huge implications for the open nature of the Next Generation Internet. Allowing for bottom-up means of fine-grained discovery as well as shared metadata and other forms of enrichment and aggregation of content and services is essential to create alternatives. By making low-level discoverability an essential characteristic of the edges of the system, rather than something controlled by intermediaries.