Archive

The Oppenheimer Moment

Where did this evil stuff come from? Are we evil? I’m per­fect­ly will­ing to stip­u­late you are not evil. Neither is your boss evil. Nor is Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. And yet the results of our work, our best most altru­is­tic work, often turns evil when it’s deployed in the larg­er world. We go to work every day, gen­uine­ly expect­ing to make the world a bet­ter place with our pow­er­ful tech­nol­o­gy. But some­how, evil is sneak­ing in despite our good inten­tions.

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

One of the things that I think is real­ly impor­tant is that we’re pay­ing atten­tion to how we might be able to recu­per­ate and recov­er from these kinds of prac­tices. So rather than think­ing of this as just a tem­po­rary kind of glitch, in fact I’m going to show you sev­er­al of these glitch­es and maybe we might see a pat­tern.

What Do We Do About the Haters?

A lot of the top­ics that we’re try­ing to tack­le” or try­ing to deal with on the Internet, we’re not actu­al­ly defin­ing ahead of time. And so what we’ve end­ed up with is a sys­tem where­by both com­pa­nies, and gov­ern­ments alike, are work­ing some­times sep­a­rate­ly, some­times togeth­er, to rid the Internet of these top­ics, of these dis­cus­sions, with­out actu­al­ly delv­ing into what they are.

Loving Out Loud in a Time of Hate Speech

Dangerous speech, as opposed hate speech, is defined basi­cal­ly as speech that seeks to incite vio­lence against peo­ple. And that’s the kind of speech that I’m real­ly con­cerned about right now. That’s what we’re see­ing on the rise in the United States, in Europe, and else­where.

Beyond Legal Talismans

Once we under­stand that legal tal­is­mans are pro­tec­tive invo­ca­tions, we have to be crit­i­cal of them. Even the ones we like. The short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to users. And the short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to peo­ple more gen­er­al­ly.

Online Platforms as Human Rights Arbiters

What does it mean for human rights pro­tec­tion that we have large cor­po­rate interests—the Googles, the Facebooks of our time—that con­trol and gov­ern a large part of the online infra­struc­ture?

Behind the Screen: The People and Politics of Commercial Content Moderation

When I asked my peers and my pro­fes­sors if they’d ever heard of this type of work, two things hap­pened. The first thing is that they said no, they hadn’t. The sec­ond thing they said, which is prob­a­bly what you’re think­ing, is, Well, can’t com­put­ers do that?” And in fact the answer to that is no.

Nudes and N00dz

What we’re talk­ing about today is how social media, and specif­i­cal­ly Facebook because we’ve found that they have the strictest poli­cies around this top­ic, how these social media com­pa­nies cen­sor art, and specif­i­cal­ly nude art. We believe that nude art is an impor­tant part of our cul­ture, an impor­tant part of our his­to­ry, and an impor­tant part of our present.

Sin in the Time of Technology

Social media com­pa­nies have an unpar­al­leled amount of influ­ence over our mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tions. […] These com­pa­nies also play a huge role in shap­ing our glob­al out­look on moral­i­ty and what con­sti­tutes it. So the ways in which we per­ceive dif­fer­ent imagery, dif­fer­ent speech, is being increas­ing­ly defined by the reg­u­la­tions that these plat­forms put upon us [in] our dai­ly activ­i­ties on them.