In this op-ed, Sydette Harry unpacks how the tech sector, particularly tech journalism, has largely failed to meaningfully listen and account for the experiences of Black women, a group that most often bears the brunt of the harmful and racist effects of technological “innovations”. While the role of tech journalism is supposedly to hold the tech industry accountable through access and insight, it has repeatedly failed to include Black people in their reporting, neither by hiring Black writers nor by addressing them seriously as an audience. Rather, their experiences and culture are often co-opted, silenced, unreported, and pushed out of newsrooms.Continue reading “Silencing Black women in tech journalism”
Last week in the Netherlands all focus was on the municipal elections. Last Wednesday, the city councils were chosen that will govern for the next four years. The elections this year were mainly characterised by a historical low turnout and the traditional overall wins for local parties. However, the focus of the Racism and Technology Center is, of course, on whether the new municipal councils and governments will put issues on the intersection of social justice and technology on the agenda.Continue reading “Racism and technology in the Dutch municipal elections”
In this issue of Logic, issue editor, J. Khadijah Abdurahman and André Brock Jr., associate professor of Black Digital Studies at Georgia Institute of Technology and the author of Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures converse about the history of disinformation from reconstruction to the present, and discuss “the unholy trinity of whiteness, modernity, and capitalism”.Continue reading “Disinformation and anti-Blackness”
The Racism and Technology Center co-signed an open letter asking the EU member states to make sure that the upcoming Digital Services Act will abolish so-called ‘dark patterns’ and advertising that is based on tracking and harvesting personal data.Continue reading “72 civil society organisations to the EU: “Abolish tracking-based online advertising””
The Dutch digital rights NGO Bits of Freedom has awarded Nani Jansen Reventlow the “Felipe Rodriguez Award” for her outstanding work championing digital rights and her crucial efforts in decolonising the field. In this (Dutch language) podcast she is interviewed by Bits of Freedom’s Inge Wannet about her strategic litigation work and her ongoing fight to decolonise the digital rights field.Continue reading “Nani Jansen Reventlow receives Dutch prize for championing privacy and digital rights”
Bits of Freedom reikt ook elk jaar een Felipe Rodriguez Award uit, deze geven we aan een persoon die een buitengewone bijdrage heeft geleverd aan het beschermen van onze rechten. Vandaag te gast in onze podcast, de winnaar van dit jaar, Nani Jansen Reventlow.
By Inge Wannet and Nani Jansen Reventlow for Big Brother Awards 2021 on January 17, 2022
The Decolonising Digital Rights project is a collaborative design process to build a decolonising programme for the European digital rights field. Together, 30 participants are working to envision and build toward a decolonised field. This blog post charts the progress, learnings and challenges of the process so far.
By Laurence Meyer for Digital Freedom Fund on December 27, 2021
We are happy to see that more and more attention is being paid to how technology intersects with problems around (racial) justice. Recently two new initiatives have launched that we would like to highlight.Continue reading “Two new technology initiatives focused on (racial) justice”
Earlier this month, Digital Freedom Fund kicked off a series of online workshops of the ‘Digital Rights for All’ programme. In this post, Laurence Meyer details the reasons for this initiative with the fundamental aim of addressing why individuals and communities most affected by the harms of technologies are not centred in the advocacy, policy, and strategic litigation work on digital rights in Europe, and how to tackle challenges around funding, sustainable collaborations and language barriers.Continue reading “Digital Rights for All: harmed communities should be front and centre”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt the duty of being that woman who sits in a meeting room in London, Geneva, New York, Berlin and Paris and talks about what digital rights mean for not just people of colour in Europe and North America, but across the rest of the world. Approximately 84% of the world’s poor live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and the digital divide remains steep but that’s only part of the story. These aren’t passive consumers of the web. They’re active prosumers. TikTok has been downloaded over 360 million times in South East Asia, a region of 658 million people. With social platforms, anyone with a phone can become a star, make money, connect with others, build a family of choice and acceptance, fall in love, and live a life they may not be allowed otherwise.
By Hera Hussain for Who Writes The Rules on August 23, 2021
It is exciting, and it is just a beginning: on the 6 October 2021, the very first workshop of the Digital Rights for All programme will take place. It aims to promote meaningful, racial, social and economic justice initiatives to challenge discriminatory design, development, and use of technologies, through policy, advocacy, and strategic litigation efforts.
By Laurence Meyer for Digital Freedom Fund on October 4, 2021
Policy makers are starting to understand that many systems running on AI exhibit some form of racial bias. So they are happy when computer scientists tell them that ‘debiasing’ is a solution for these problems: testing the system for racial and other forms of bias, and making adjustments until these no longer show up in the results.Continue reading “Why ‘debiasing’ will not solve racist AI”
In her Volkskrant opinion piece Nani Jansen Reventlow makes a forceful argument for the government to stop using algorithms that lead to discrimination and exclusion. Reventlow, director of the Digital Freedom Fund, employs a myriad of examples to show how disregarding the social nature of technological systems can lead to reproducing existing social injustices such as racism or discrimination. The automatic fraud detection system SyRI that was ruled in violation of fundamental rights (and its dangerous successor Super SyRI) is discussed, as well as the racist proctoring software we wrote about earlier.Continue reading “Government: Stop using discriminatory algorithms”
The FTC’s long-awaited report shows that device makers have not regulated themselves, that warranties are illegally voided, and that enforcement is needed.
By Kerry Sheehan for iFixit on May 7, 2021
In last week’s Dutch parliamentary elections, digitisation and the impact of technology on society was definitely part of the political debate. However, racism in technology was, with the exception of BIJ1, hardly explicitly addressed with most parties focussing on topics such as cybersecurity, the power of big tech, and privacy in their party programmes.Continue reading “The Dutch elections and racist tech”
Technology has never been colorblind. It’s time to abolish notions of “universal” users of software.
From The Internet Health Report 2020 on January 1, 2021
This speech was given by DFF director, Nani Jansen Reventlow, on 9 October as the keynote for the 2020 Anthropology + Technology Conference.
By Nani Jansen Reventlow for Digital Freedom Fund on October 23, 2020