9 November 2017 - 14.30-16.30 - Room 5 - Interpretation: FR/EN

The lab will examine the detrimental effects of social media filter bubbles and algorithms and will explore solutions to make readers more aware of their reading habits and help them to integrate different worldviews.

Lab 7 final report

initiative 1

Empowering users and community by opening Facebook echo chambers, Tracking Exposed, Italy

The initiative has created a browser extension that discloses personalization algorithms.  These tools, commonly used for commercial purpose, customize information according to its importance for a specific user. On the basis of a users’ identity and interactions, specific bits of information are preferred while other are hidden from his or her view. With the help of the extension, users can visualize their own newsfeed with infographics and statistics about the time spent on social media, and the number of friends effectively populating one’s newsfeed, etc.


AGOSTI Claudio

Claudio AGOSTI

Founder of Tracking Exposed


Claudio Agosti is the director of facebook.tracking.exposed; Claudio developed an interest in computer hacking and security before 2000, particularly to the developing challenges of a rapidly changing internet. In these years, Claudio's efforts have been to increase the use of algorithms in society.. In the "quantify society" , people are targeted at their weakest point. Understanding this power shift is in the interest of the community as a whole because it has an impact on political participation and even how reality is perceived.

initiative 2

A Toolbox for Digital Citizens, Nupinion, United Kingdom

Nupinion is a free news discovery and search tool that improves access to quality journalism and information. It enables citizens to compare news from multiple sources and countries while helping to identify the credibility and political slant of sources. Citizens stay easily informed by following news boards on topics, outlets or people they choose. Based on these choices, Nupinion recommends different opinions, highlights key stakeholders and offers tools to investigate media coverage on the issue. Nupinion’s goal is to support democracy by fostering media literacy, fighting fake or heavily biased news, and bursting media echo chambers online.





Co-founder and Data Scientist, Nupinion


Dr Denise Xifara is the co-founder of Nupinion, a startup dedicated to improving how people engage with news. She is passionate about leveraging big data to gain insight from global news content. Her work at Nupinion is focused on using AI to meaningfully aggregate and display news, evaluate political slant and credibility, identify echo chambers and support democratic decision-making by improving access to quality journalism. Previously Dr Xifara worked as a data scientist and collaborated with startups, building chatbot and blockchain applications. Her background is in statistics, having completed a PhD in statistical genetics at Oxford University.

initiative 3

The Read Across The Aisle app, USA

The app allows people to see, in real time, whether their reading habits are skewing left or right. Through the app, users can read news from a variety of sources, and it shows them the political orientation of each source. The app also shows the cumulative political orientation of a user’s reading history. Most importantly, the app detects when users are just reading from one side of the aisle and occasionally reminds them to check out news from another angle.


LUM Nick

Nick LUM

Co-founder of The Read Across The Aisle app

United States of America

Nick Lum is an entrepreneur based in California. A former corporate lawyer, Nick now works in social impact entrepreneurship. He is the CEO of BeeLine Reader, a technology company that makes reading on-screen more efficient and more accessible. BeeLine Reader’s technology is used in schools, universities, and companies around the world, and has won awards from Stanford University and The Tech Museum of Innovation. Nick’s work is funded primarily by grants, which he has received from Stanford, Microsoft, and NewSchools Venture Fund. Nick’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, and on BBC Radio.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

KHEDIR Mabrouka

Mabrouka KHEDIR

Video journalist, correspondent and reporter for Deutsche Welle


Mabrouka Khedir holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s in Discourse analysis. She works for Deutsche Welle as video journalist, correspondent and reporter. She is also an investigative journalist for correspondents.org, Inkyfada, Jadalia. She offers training in journalism at the DW Academy in North Africa and coaches in investigative journalism at the Media Development Centre (MDC). As a film-maker and producer, she received the award for best integrated work for her film “Slaves Descendants” at the fifth edition of the Tatouan International Festival (Morocco), which was held from 2 to 7 May 2017.



Member of Parliament and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe


Milena Santerini is Full professor of Pedagogy and Director of the Centre for Research on Intercultural Relations at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. She has promoted research and training activities on plurilingualism, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, and social projects on racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and anti-gypsyism. In 2013 she was elected member of the Italian Parliament and joined the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe

Republic of Moldova

Corina Călugăru, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe. Career diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, where she had diverse positions with increasing responsibilities from an Attaché to the Counselor within Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva, and Director for Global Affairs and Human Rights Division of the General Directorate for Multilateral Cooperation. She was involved in the coordination of international and regional human rights standards application into the national system, coordinator for Freedom Online Coalition membership, etc.  Ms. Călugăru graduated from the State University of Moldova with a Bachelor of Law degree and a Bachelor in Economics, Banks and investments, and earned her Master degree in Law from the same University. She has followed NATO Security Studies from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania; European Training Course in Security Policy at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; and a series of trainings in human rights, multilateral diplomacy, and other areas of activity. 
NEPAL Mukunda

Mukunda NEPAL

Communication professional, Youth Department's youth delegation


Mukunda Nepal has a long lasting experience in communications, not only based on his degree in Journalism and Mass Communications (Tribuvan University, Nepal), but also with special focus on digital communications. He started his career as a Radio Programme Producer and later initiated few digital media projects in Nepal. He is co-founder of Nepal Votes, a digital media initiative concerning elections in Nepal. He also worked with BBC Media Action and UNICEF, always in Nepal. 



Public Affairs Manager, OECD Public Affairs and Communications

United States of America

Holly Richards works for the OECD on relations with civil society and parliaments and promoting the OECD Better Life Index, a project on citizen engagement and measuring well-being. Prior to working at OECD HQ, she served as the Public Affairs Officer at the OECD Washington Center from 2008-2016. In her role, she developed and executed a range of strategic outreach activities for the OECD in the US and Canada, covering topic areas including governance, migration, economics, trade and agriculture and international and local development. She has a Masters in Communication from Johns Hopkins and a BA in International Studies from the American University.



Youth Department's youth delegation


Saikal has a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and democratization, with a specialization on Economic and Social Rights. Her master thesis focuses on the extent of the freedom of speech right and its legal framework, both in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. For the Black Sea University, she published a paper on how securitization measures hinder the development of democracy and how they violate civil and political rights. 

LAB 7 - Bursting social media eco chambers
Palais de l'Europe, Room 5 9 November 2017 - 14.30-16.30
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