Future Internet Lab

Fixing the internet, post-Facebook Files

8-11-21 15:00 - 8-11-21 18:45

This event is organised by Kim van Sparrentak (MEP GroenLinks), SDEPS, People vs Big Tech, and Waag. Among the speakers is Waag director Marleen Stikker.


Facebook's recommender algorithm systematically promotes and recommends shocking or hateful content for profit. It is programmed to create the most interaction, clicks and comments. In practice this means it promotes content that triggers anger, resulting in extreme and shocking content being promoted, while other content is demoted. At the same time, online platforms constantly track users and collect vast amounts of personal data for personalised recommendations and micro-targeted advertising. This dangerous system leads to polarisation and extremism. It directly impacts our democracies. Facebook was aware of these effects, but did not fix their algorithm, because the targeted and large-scale spread of hate and disinformation brought Facebook profit.

MEPs from the Greens/EFA, S&D, Renew and the Left and a coalition of 76 civil society organisations stand united. We need to fix these toxic algorithms and business models and put people, not Big Tech, back in control of the internet. But how? And what are alternatives?

We would like your organisation to discuss these questions with us during the online event on Monday 8 November. There will be room for you to raise your hand and ask questions and engage with the speakers and other organisations on this topic.

Moderator: Dave Keating

15:00 hrs - Opening by MEP Kim van Sparrentak (Greens/EFA)
15:05 hrs - Session 1: Toxic recommender systems and how to fix them.

15:40 hrs - Session 2: How to fix manipulative business models: what are the alternatives?

16:25 hrs - Closing by MEP Kim van Sparrentak (Greens /EFA)
16:45-18:45 hrs - Livestream of the hearing with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen