The private, personal character that makes online social networks appealing to people looking to stay in touch with friends and family is also leading data protection advocates from around the globe to criticize the sites.
Armed with some of Europe's most wide-reaching data protection laws, critics in Germany have accused social networks and other online sites of collecting and making commercial use of personal information without members' explicit permission - as required by law.
Google and Facebook are both under investigation in Germany, as well as other countries, for their privacy and data retention practices.
Deutsche Welle looks at the actions being taken against a number of Web sites and how Germans are using the Web and social media.
It may be stuffed lions and dinosaur skeletons that draw us to natural history museums, but they are also vast storehouses of scientific specimens, the majority of which the public never gets to see.
On Halloween, millions watch horror movies and try to terrorize themselves and anyone close by. Horror expert Mathias Clasen tells DW horror is good for us - and offers tips on scaring people silly.
The decision to permit a local energy utility to restart its nuclear plant has been welcomed by the Japanese government and industry, but environmental groups are angry that local people's concerns are being ignored.
Last year, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines, claiming the lives of thousands. Steven Rood tells DW the affected areas have recovered much from the country's worst natural disaster, but challenges remain.