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Future Hyper-connected Sociality


Analysing and building the foundation of next generation Social Media platforms towards a ""Global Social Sphere"", based on peer-to-peer/decentralised, community approaches and free/open source principles. This foundation shall enhance the role of prosumers, communities and small businesses, mastering technological barriers, introducing innovative and participatory forms of quality journalism, and using various data in a secure manner. These activities should contribute to overcome the current accumulation of power by central intermediaries often located outside Europe. Proposals are invited for one of the following four subtopics:

Innovation Action

Trustful and Secure Data Ecosystem for Social Media and Media.

a) Content verification - Development of intermediary-free solutions addressing information veracity for Social Media. The solutions to be developed shall contribute to the understanding of information cascades, the spreading of information and the identification of information sources, the openness of algorithms and users' access to and control of their personal data (such as profiles, images, videos, biometrical, geolocation data and local data). Proposals are expected to develop and pilot solutions with a large existing community of citizens, and consortia may include inter alia partners from media, social media, distributed architectures, security and blockchain developers. Linked to this and in order to allow mastering better the complexity for users of Social Media, a Digital Companion interaction component may also be realised. The actions on this subtopic will cooperate for setting-up the basis of an observatory as described in d).

b) Secure Data Ecosystem - Creation of media and social media data business and innovation ecosystem to ensure privacy and secure sharing, as well as fair trade of federated media relevant data produced by media, social media and operators from other industrial sectors across Europe. The involvement of non-media sectors is considered critical to achieve volume and variety of data sets comparable with the ones of leading content aggregators. The action should address the necessary technical, organisational, legal and commercial aspects of data sharing/brokerage/trading to enable data-driven services. The action must also develop pilots to demonstrate the potential and sustainability of the federated data solution.[[This action is to be followed up in the Big Data Innovation Hubs, planned for 2020, with a subtopic aiming at incubating ideas for data driven services and tools able to improve the media value chain.]]

Research and Innovation Action

c) Support of new Social Media initiatives, and transition to peer-to-peer federated social networks based on smart decentralised architectures. This should be carried out by multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial consortia (technologist, sociologists, artists,…), including inter alia academic and industry partners focussing on web media, platform and application development. Proposals should include the creation of an open decentralised platform exploiting the added value derived from data aggregation and data analytics, exploring possible applications of blockchain technologies and enabling the development of innovative services and novel forms of distribution of media content. This includes research and innovation on open API, interface design, content production, consumer/prosumer business models including crowd-sourcing models for identification and rewarding of user generated content, open management and portability of profiles, gaming and art aspects. Proposals may also consider aspects of a “Social Networks of Objects"", integrating latest European advancements on smart objects, big data, autonomous systems, real-time geolocation[[Where use is made of geolocation, data from Galileo and EGNOS should be used wherever relevant.]] and augmented/virtual reality. Proposals should include demonstrations and validation, also leveraging on concepts and technologies addressed elsewhere in the NGI programme.

Coordination and Support Action

d) Support of Social Media ecosystem community building between different Social Media actors such as developers, designers, users of all ages, artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, at European and national level, also linking to important international initiatives. This should include a dynamic app-based tool for community-mapping and an analysis of a future hyper-connected society, considering societal, economic, educational, legal and community-based self-regulation aspects. In addition, the action shall establish with actions on Content Verification under subtopic a) the basis for an observatory on information veracity and best Social Media practices.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of maximum 2,5 MEUR for subtopic a), 5 MEUR for subtopic b) and c) and 1 MEUR for subtopic d) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

At least one proposal will be selected for subtopics a) and b). Proposals should clearly state which subtopic they address.

Future social networks, media and platforms will become the way our societies operate for communication, exchange, business, creation, learning and knowledge acquisition. The challenge is to mobilise a positive vision as to the role that Social Media will increasingly play in all these areas, and to overcome today's critical issues about trust and governance through democratic reputation mechanisms, and user experience.

  • Increased trust and improved governance and value for Social Media and Media
  • New federated Social Media platforms and innovative media data driven services
  • Societal change towards digital literacy and citizen participation