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[liberationtech] Mark Your Calendar: Live-streams of two roundtables Thu/Fri

Christian Sandvig csandvig at
Tue Sep 26 20:56:32 PDT 2017

Hello liberationtech colleagues,

We'll be hosting a workshop with some possibly familiar people later this
week. I'm writing to this list because we will be live-streaming two of our
public events on YouTube and I am wondering if you would like to "attend."
 We will be taking questions from the Internet via Twitter and the BKC
question tool. Even if you are not in the right timezone, I hope this will
be of interest. I dare Europe to stay awake for the first one, and
Australians to stay awake for the second one.  Please forward this email as

Live-Streamed Events:

The Bad News About Online Discrimination in Algorithmic Systems
Thursday, September 28, 2017
4:00-5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)

Researching Social Media, Online Platforms, and Algorithmic Systems From
the Outside
Friday, September 29, 2017
10-11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)

The overall occasion is a workshop entitled "Auditing Algorithms: Adding
Accountability to Automated Authority," explained here:  Its goal is a white paper about this
area of research, which I expect to email this list about again in the
future. We are also working on some weirder participatory online activities
-- if you like these topics you'll want to jump on in on them. More on that
after these events. For more context, here is a related quote:

"The equations of big-data algorithms have permeated almost every aspect of
our lives. A massive industry has grown up to comb and combine huge data
sets — documenting, for example, Internet habits — to generate profiles of
individuals. These often target advertising, but also inform decisions on
credit, insurance and more. They help to control the news or adverts we
see, and whether we get hired or fired. They can determine whether
surveillance and law-enforcement agencies flag us as likely activists or
dissidents — or potential security or criminal threats….Largely absent from
the widespread use of such algorithms are the rules and safeguards that
govern almost every other aspect of life in a democracy. There is an
asymmetry in algorithmic power and accountability…Fortunately, a strong
movement for greater algorithmic accountability is now under way.
Researchers hope to find ways to audit for bias….Society needs to discuss
in earnest how to rid software and machines of human bugs."

–Unsigned Editorial, Nature (2016)

Hope you'll be "there",
(on behalf of the co-organizers)

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