FAQ

We look for quality links that are informative and have no commercial interests. Our aim is to provide the most relevant information on important topics, not to earn money. We cannot, and do not intend to raise any claim to exhaustiveness. The Internet is far too big for that. However, this collection of links makes it possible to gain an overview of facts, and different perspectives on current themes. Links with racist or sexist contents are not included. You can find out more in Our principles section.

We believe that a one-stop-shop to quality links is incredibly useful. We enjoy creating and developing a single site on the Internet containing important information on current events and wide-ranging themes relating to our future - thus enabling people to inform themselves quickly. We believe that we provide more, and better information than commercially oriented link collections. Our links are hand-picked. By building up networks of active and engaged citizens and by sharing information, we hope to make a contribution to a better world, and to encourage active use of the Internet.

Providing you with a small collection of links is not sufficient for gaining a detailed overview of a topic. Several good links will give you a broad insight into the complexity of each respective theme. Important and current links are usually at the top of the list under each subject heading.

The idea is not to read every individual link, that would take years! Anyone who is seeking information, or has specific questions they would like answering, can type keywords into the search tool. Alternatively, you can use the categories provided on the home page to narrow down the topics and easily find what you are looking for. We provide multiple links on each topic which users can choose from.

We finance the project internally. The founder is a physician from Germany who works alongside a small international team of volunteers and co-workers who dedicate their time and efforts.

Better World Info is consciously free of advertising. This enables us to retain our independence and stay impartial.

We do not wish to be dependent on donors with one-sided interests. However, if you wish to make a donation you will help us improve the quality of our website, and assist us in professionally publicising Better World Info.

No. We are not associated with any party or religion. Our aim is to provide information for consciousness-raising and to motivate people to work towards a better world in a more focused way, on the basis of the information we provide.

We are a few ordinary people who think critically and are worried about conflict, environmental degradation and the flagrant injustice of the disparity between rich and poor people in countries around the world. We believe that information precedes action and that democracy requires information. Our hope is that it will be easier for people to work for a better world, if they have access to a wider variety of information than that provided in daily newspapers.

There are many ways that you can get involved. First of all, our site is a participatory platform, this means you can send us links that you find useful and think are suitable for Better World Info. You can also inform us of any links which may no longer work or be out of date, and suggest new categories or topics that we have not yet covered.

A great way to spread the word is to link Better World Info on your own site or blog, or simply by recommending the site to others. We also think it is important to distribute our information leaflet as widely as possible. We can send you as many of these as you like, free of charge.

People involved in NGO work and experts on specific subjects are very welcome, and if suitable, can become permanent moderators for that topic. Simply send us an email with a phone number or Skype name and we will be pleased to speak with you about possibilities in supporting the link directory.

Find out more information here: ”Want to help us?”

Why do we need Better World Info when we already have Google, Wikipedia and Facebook?

There are many benefits to Better World Info that are not offered through these other resources. They are of course great tools, but all of them have their own limitations. Plus, none of these sites work with the aim of a better world in mind.

Underfunding of libraries and other public resources has left us with a lack of up to date and reliable information. In the past this was provided through books. Online directories are now needed more than ever to provide guidance. As it stands, many excellent resources and projects, like ours, will only show up after the first page or two of an online search - they are effectively hidden. On the other hand, we at Better World Info try to make sure that we do feature links from these sites, in order to offer a comprehensive selection of sources on each topic.

Quality:

Every one of our links has been hand-picked and carefully curated. At Better World Info we do not use computer algorithms to find an answer to your question. Computer generated results do not guarantee reliable sources, and they will often provide you with just a small window into the answer you are looking for.

Privacy:

Unlike Google and Facebook, we do not want to collect your private data for commercial purposes or targeted ads. You may be thinking, “I have nothing to hide, so what can I lose?” Well, when sites collect 1000’s of information from its users, your personal, economic, and political data (is no longer private and it) becomes very easy to exploit. Huge segments of the population can be manipulated in this way.

Additionally, US intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA) are well known for snooping on personal data which is routed there. The data of EU citizens is not protected. Better World Info is based in Germany, unlike Facebook, Google etc which are US based companies, and thus you can be assured that your personal data is protected with us.

Influence and bias of information and opinion:

At Better World Info you will not find corporate media dominance, fake news, echo chambers, filter bubbles or hate speech.

We are not an outlet of corporate industries or powerful governments associated with big money interests. This allows us to be completely objective in the information that we share, unlike other sources which may provide you with biased, one-sided results.

Echo chambers – Big websites store your preferences, and monitor your social media group use. This means that on Facebook, You Tube and Twitter, it is much more likely that you will come across information which is in line with your existing point of view. It is being reflected back at you - echoed to match your profile. Echo chambers strengthen your existing opinions, surrounding you with people who share the same views, confirming them - often based on little, or no actual facts. Echo chambers can thus influence and limit our understanding of a topic and our opinions. They polarize them, and ignore outside thoughts.

Filter bubbles – Similar to echo chambers in that information which results from your online search, will start to filter out sites with ideas that differ from your own attitudes and belief system (ideology). Filters will predict which information to show you, based on previously collected data. This includes your location, search history, purchases, and even the groups you have liked on Facebook. They have been found to be especially harmful when searching for political information. Algorithms will match the sites that best fit your preferences and put them at the top, move others down, and leave some out altogether. Filter bubbles can provide you with ‘tunnel vision’.  Living in a filter bubble, you risk being targeted and manipulated more readily.

Democracy in danger:

National elections (Trump 2016, Bolsonaro 2018), referendums (Brexit 2016), and the Cambridge Analytica scandal (2018) are well-known examples of the threats to democracy that we are all facing. They are proof of how easily our opinions, and more importantly our votes can be manipulated. Internet giants such as Google, Wikipedia and Facebook unfortunately operate as quasi monopolies, and should therefore be used with caution. Additionally, due to corporate media consolidation, it is becoming more and more difficult to access critical political and social information which can be tightly controlled by the rich and powerful. Mass media tends to omit, hide and skew critical facts and views in order to manufacture consent and influence the thoughts and opinions of citizens. This means that to be properly informed, we must seek and support reliable alternative news sources!

  • It can be hard to find the information that you are looking for on these sites. In order to use these tools properly, you must already know what you are searching for. Better World Info provides you with multiple topics that you can chose from, after which you can explore many different avenues. This way you may find great organizations, initiatives, and ideas that you otherwise would not.
  • Education is the most important tool we have in helping to create a Better World. When using social media or search engines, we are only provided with a (shock) headline and a short article - snippets of information. We are not really educated on a topic this way. Looking through a small window gives us only one aspect of a story, and a limited understanding. This can lead to misinterpretation, bias, hate and ignorance - all dangerous weapons. (poisonous)
  • The main difference between ourselves and Wikipedia is that they focus on text and citations, not on links and media. In recent years it has become more and more difficult to add and update information on their site - this is due to heavy internal censorship, especially concerning geopolitics and big corporations. Although Wikipedia tries to remain neutral, they do lean towards rich and powerful governments and companies. (You will find that there is a significant lack of critical information on powerful people and their interests.) Omitting information, or understating facts does not tell us the full story.
  • Things to consider when using YouTube as an information resource: YouTube is full of brilliant videos which we can use to better inform ourselves. The problem arises with the sheer content available. As with search engines, we must know what information we are seeking out, before we can search for it. Filter bubbles will then play a part in which videos you will be shown, and in which order. There is also a huge degree of difference in quality, and we must therefore separate the wheat from the chaff in order to find reliable sources. Since this is incredibly time consuming and problematic, we aim to provide a selection of handpicked quality videos from YouTube to help you stay informed.
  • Things to consider when using WhatsApp: WhatsApp is an extremely convenient way to communicate. However, the security of the site is questionable. Although they state that all messages are encrypted, this is not the case if your data is backed up using Google Drive. Media files have also shown to be more vulnerable to hackers, who can easily alter them. This would lead to content manipulation and privacy risks. Fake news and fraud spread via the app has been the cause of violence in the past, and WhatsApp have yet to solve this problem.
  • Things to consider when using Reddit: Reddit allows users to upload content, and then other users will either upvote or downvote it. The content you will see is the upvoted posts, not the downvoted ones. This system is an echo chamber in itself. The content you see will be directly determined by other users of the site. Not only will you be provided just snippets of information, but you won’t find many links which are different from popular opinion. Reddit could stop users from speaking out critically, in fact, behaviour against the ‘norm’ can get you down votes, and even online harassment.