The European Commission has launched a Call for Tenders to carry out a Study on “Media literacy and online empowerment issues raised by algorithm-driven media services" (SMART 2017/0081).
This multi-disciplinary study will be a first step for EU media policy to analyse the underlying issues posed by algorithm-driven media services and explore the problem area in a structured way for the benefit of policy makers and stakeholders.
The extent to which citizens are aware of the impacts of algorithms on their content choices and of the limits to the validity of some information received through social media are both important considerations, given that democratic theory assumes citizens are well-informed and trust the information they receive. However, political concerns are running high over fake news and echo chambers.
The study should analyse the issues posed by algorithm-driven media services and explore problem area in a holistic and cross-disciplinary way, taking into account media literacy, behavioural science and other relevant areas of expertise. It should pinpoint gaps in understanding and research. It should identify and recommend best practices, notably from a media literacy perspective; include a substantial stakeholder involvement as well as a fundamental rights perspective including freedom of expression and media freedom and pluralism.