Should the Internet be private? Ownership and control of information on the Internet.

Society and Information

Building reality

Information diffusion

The research that we set out to develop in 2015 seeks to approach the propagation and diffusion of Information from a minimalist point of view. Our work investigates the magnitude of popularity, the gathering of attention, that entities named in the public discourse collect over time. We examined their relative popularity magnitude and the mechanisms of its facilitation.

The control of Information

Hate speech

Dissemination and Information Control in Society

As we saw control over the means over which Information flows in society is a factor of power, manipulation, and profit. Knowing how popularity and notoriety are generated: through social processes of multiplicative interaction between people, but also through editorial decisions, content manipulation, filtering algorithms, and automatic behavioural selection processes pose a serious challenge to the whole society. Dissemination of Information is nowadays almost automatic, and we should know who controls the communication channels. Not only the content and the appearance, but also the framing, repetition, and reinforcement with which messages are presented, determine their perception and understanding. Thus we have to verify who is in control of these processes. We should aim for democratic and discretionary means of control to balance large concentrations of power.

António Filipe Fonseca is an engineer and complexity science researcher.