Archive

Understanding Systems and Creating Change

One of the things I found inter­est­ing about both of your con­ver­sa­tions is that as we start to see code becom­ing a pow­er­ful force in soci­ety, we’re no longer just try­ing to change laws but we find ourselves—just as we’re cit­i­zens try­ing to encour­age the gov­ern­ment or con­gress­peo­ple to change laws—we’re now stand­ing out­side of com­pa­nies say­ing well, there’s code that affects our lives.

Discrimination Audits & Challenges to Discrimination Studies

By using these tools like the sock­pup­pets, and scrap­ing, and using bots, and using APIs, we can look at a site for hous­ing and maybe try to fig­ure out if some dis­crim­i­na­tion is hap­pen­ing. Are these homes pri­or­i­tized dif­fer­ent­ly for dif­fer­ent peo­ple based on their age, on their sex, and so forth? And it’ll help us actu­al­ly under­stand why some of this might be hap­pen­ing.

Forbidden Research: Why We Can’t Do That

Quite often when we’re ask­ing these dif­fi­cult ques­tions we’re ask­ing about ques­tions where we might not even know how to ask where the line is. But in oth­er cas­es, when researchers work to advance pub­lic knowl­edge, even on uncon­tro­ver­sial top­ics, we can still find our­selves for­bid­den from doing the research or dis­sem­i­nat­ing the research.

Forbidden Research Welcome and Introduction: Ethan Zuckerman

As we dug into this top­ic, we real­ized research gets for­bid­den for all sorts of rea­sons. We’re going to talk about top­ics today that are for­bid­den in some sense because they’re so big, they’re so con­se­quen­tial, that it’s extreme­ly dif­fi­cult for any­one to think about who should actu­al­ly have the right to make this deci­sion. We’re going to talk about some top­ics that end up being off the table, that end up being for­bid­den, because they’re kind of icky. They’re real­ly uncom­fort­able. And frankly, if you make it through this day with­out some­thing mak­ing you uncom­fort­able, we did some­thing wrong in plan­ning this event.