No, @RobvanKranenburg. It means that we map technology policy choices onto their real-life consequences, so as to make the debate more inclusive. In this, we are learning from experience: for example, that of the 2014 EU consultation on copyright (again!). A consultation was out, but it was not getting many responses. This was in large part because it consisted of an 80-pages questionnaire, contained in a downloadable MS Word file, written in legalese and only in English. A group of activists translated it into several languages, and – importantly – mapped the questions of the questionnaire onto real life experiences. For example: “if you have had problems sharing videos with your friends in other EU countries, answer question 16”. Unsurprisingly, this jacked up participation by two orders of magnitude, and greatly increased the diversity of responses. Only professional lobbyists, who get paid for it, will fill an 80-pages questionnaire in legalese. But that’s wasteful, because lobbyists already have their channels to talk to the EU institutions, and the latter already know what lobbyists think. Consultation are most useful when they reach into the corners of society that normally do not request appointments with the Commission, like – in this case – teenagers sharing videos and amateur DJs wondering on the legal consequences of remixing (more on this).
This sounds like a rhetorical question. However, OK: there is no “Edgeryders”. Edgeryders does not have opinions. People who post on the Edgeryders platform occasionally do, and we do not police them. We do ask them to abide our netiquette. This position is consistent:
- With the NGI Forward Grant Agreement. It lists as the first objective of the NGI Forward platform:
Offer everyone prepared to reflect on NGI and the future Internet more broadly an easy-to-use dynamic platform to do it on, and a diverse, inclusive and dissent-tolerant community to do it with.
- With the EU’s core values. Our motto is, not coincidentally, in varietate concordia. Dissent does not make us enemies. That is the whole point of uniting a continent where people have butchered each other for 700 years, often over matters of religion and ideology.
The material appearing on the platform is not analysis per se. We treat it as data for collective intelligence, again as per the GA. The point of collective intelligence is that it corrects itself. In the case you mention, what happens is this: the ethnographers coding this particular post might enter codes that make a “spurious” correlation, for example
social media and
CDU (in practice I doubt this will happen, my understanding of the post is that @MariaEuler and @matthias are remarking on the uneasy relationship between political communication and the architecture of the Internet. Nothing to do the with the CDU). This will induce an edge between these two codes in the semantic network. As the rest of the corpus is coded, two things might happen:
- Nowhere else is this connection made. In this case, it is by definition not “collective intelligence”, but just one person’s opinion. It gets discarded in Graphryder, together with the other weak edges.
- The connection resurfaces in other corners of the platform, and in different conversations. In this case, several people see it as relevant. We have an empirical regularity. Win! We might then want to go deeper to interpret what it means. We might even learn something about the issue at hand, which is the whole point of the exercise. If we already knew everything there is to know about the future internet, there would be no point running a consultation.
I don’t understand your point. What are you suggesting here? That we should check all content ever published by anyone who is mentioned on the NGI Forward platform, even if they publish it elsewhere, and erase such mentions if we disapprove of their terminology?