“What motivations, value systems, and visions guide the development of European search engines? How do these imaginations get translated into sociotechnical design practices? What negotiations, compromises and power dynamics may be observed? How do place and cultural context matter in the development of search engines? These are the questions to be discussed in my talk by drawing on my ongoing research on European search engines.
Building on my previous work on the shaping and governing of corporate search engines (Google) and their “algorithmic ideology”, I will focus on three so-called alternative search engines: The privacy-friendly search engine StartPage (NL), the initiative Open Web Index (D/EU), and the peer-to-peer search engine YaCy (D). Drawing on a first analysis of online materials, qualitative interviews and a half-day workshop conducted with the developer teams, I will discuss visions and values driving European search engines, challenges developers encounter in their daily work practices, and consequences these pose in terms of “social innovation”.
About the speaker
Astrid Mager is a senior post-doc at the Institute of Technology Assessment, Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is currently working on her habilitation project „Algorithmic Imaginaries. Visions and values in the shaping of search engines“.