What we do


ALGEPI (understanding ALGorithmic gatekeepers to promote EPIstemic welfare) is an interdisciplinary research project funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). It is a 4-year project (2023-2027).

Algorithms are omnipresent in all media activities, from production and distribution to recommendation and consumption. Technological and economic developments have led to the availability of overwhelming quantities of digital content. While some physical limitations have disappeared (space for storing, time for scheduling); others remain, notably users’ attention and what can be displayed to users (e.g., what a Netflix user sees when connecting to the platform). Therefore, it has become crucial to incorporate algorithms that allow for a flexible and immediate response and adjustment to the personal preferences of content consumers. Such algorithms automatically filter, rank, and recommend content and, therefore, influence the display or recommendation of content in two contradictory ways: they remove or choose not to display items, or they promote items that may otherwise not have been noticed or consumed. In both ways, algorithms are not neutral, and they raise questions as to how they are designed and implemented, who decides, and on which basis.

Algorithmic gatekeepers and epistemic welfare are the overarching concepts that will guide our research activities. Epistemic welfare is a novel concept that corresponds to individuals’ right to know and be exposed to trustworthy, independent, and diverse information while respecting individual rights to their own data1. Designed to make citizens’ choices easier and better, algorithms have been accused of causing harm as these may threaten our access and exposure to trustworthy information, reliable sources, and diverse content.



1 Majcher, K. (2020). Coherence between EU data protection and competition law in the digital market.

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