AlgorithmWatch is a non-profit research and advocacy organization that is committed to watch, unpack and analyze automated decision-making (ADM) systems and their impact on society.

YouTube cleaned its ‘news’ section… with content from Axel Springer

A data donation experiment by AlgorithmWatch shows that Welt, a brand of right-wing news conglomerate Axel Springer, largely dominates the official news section.

Instagram algorithm: Süddeutsche publishes results of data analysis

Using thousands of data donations from AlgorithmWatch’s Instagram monitoring browser plug-in, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung showed that posts from the far-right appear higher on users’ timelines.

Felix Hunger/SZ

LinkedIn automatically rates “out-of-country” candidates as “not fit” in job applications

A feature on LinkedIn automatically rates candidates applying from another EU country as “not a fit”, which may be illegal. I asked 6 national and European agencies about the issue. None seemed interested in enforcing the law.

AlgorithmWatch forced to shut down Instagram monitoring project after threats from Facebook

Digital platforms play an ever-increasing role in structuring and influencing public debate. Civil society watchdogs, researchers and journalists need to be able to hold them to account. But Facebook is increasingly fighting those who try. It shut down New York University’s Ad Observatory last week, and went after AlgorithmWatch, too. The European Parliament and EU Member States must act now to prevent further bullying.

Story

23 August 2021

#bigtech #europe #lobby

How Big Tech Charms and Bullies European Politicians, Journalists and Academics

Google, Facebook and other very large tech companies built a lobbying system that, under the guise of furthering research or journalism, binds intellectuals in a complex network of patronage. Transparency is long overdue.

YummyBuum / TarikVision / Igor | Adobe Stock

Draft AI Act: EU needs to live up to its own ambitions in terms of governance and enforcement

Going forward with the proposed AI Act, the European Parliament and the Member States should re-think its risk-based approach, focus on affected communities, and beef up transparency requirements and enforcement mechanisms. We very much welcome the EU’s efforts to develop a framework for the governance of AI-based systems based on European values and the protection of fundamental rights, but there’s a long way to go to achieve these objectives.

Publications

Read our comprehensive reports, analyses and working papers on the impact and ethical questions of algorithmic decision-making, written in collaboration with our network of researchers and civil society experts. See our publications
Photo: Mitya Ivanov | Unsplash

24 September 2021

Domestic COVID certificates: what does the evidence say?

Born to help reopen international travel routes, digital COVID certificates are now required in several countries to enter premises such as bars, restaurants, gyms, pools, and museums, and to attend large public events. But do they work — and what for, precisely? More fundamentally, is it even possible to have an evidence-based debate about them at all? Tracing The Tracers looked at the lessons we should learn from the available literature, with the help of a stellar group of researchers.

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Journalistic stories

How does automated decision-making effect our daily lives? Where are the systems applied and what happens when something goes wrong? Read our journalistic investigations on the current use of ADM systems and their consequences. Read our stories
CC BY SA West Midlands Police

1 October 2021

An English police force created its own ethics committee and it’s totally not ethics washing, they say.

The West Midlands police force, which controls 2.9 million persons around Birmingham, created its own independent ethics committee in 2019. Despite its work and its transparency, critics are not convinced that it is a solid enough counterweight.

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Positions

Read our responses and expert analyses on current political and regulatory developments concerning automated decision-making. Read our positions
Sara Kurfeß Unsplash

17 August 2021

Twitter’s algorithmic bias bug bounty could be the way forward, if regulators step in

Twitter opened its image cropping algorithm and gave prizes to people who could find biases in it. While interesting in itself, the program mostly reveals the impotence of regulators.

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Blog

Upcoming events, campaigns and updates from our team – here is where you get your news about AlgorithmWatch. Visit our blog

12 October 2021

Apply now: AlgorithmWatch is looking for an experienced editor

Writing is your passion? Do you feel like working in a young and influential NGO? And you want to contribute your skills and experience to one of the most important and exciting social issues of our time? Our team in Berlin is looking forward to your application!

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Projects

Our research projects take a specific look at automated decision-making in certain sectors, ranging from sustainablity, the COVID-19 pandemic, human resources to social media platfroms and public discourse. You can also get involved! Engage and contribute, for example with a data donation! Learn more about our projects

9 March 2021

AutoCheck – Mapping risks of discrimination in automated decision-making systems

Automated decision-making (ADM) processes are becoming a fact of life in more and more areas: They assess our creditworthiness, set individualized prices on online retail platforms or suggest which movies to watch. However, their use does not necessarily lead to less-biased decisions. ADM systems can perpetuate or even reinforce inequality and discrimination. For example, a…

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