Safety and fairness on the Internet

23 May 2017 1.00pm 2.00pm

Venue:

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)

Speaker(s):

Helena Webb and Menisha Patel

Contact:

Pip willcox | pip.willcox@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Description

The internet is becoming an increasingly dominant feature of social life in the western world. More and more users rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to receive news, communicate with others, share content and conduct everyday tasks. As this reliance grows, it is important to ask questions about how we ensure safety and fairness on the internet. For instance, how can we limit the spread of harmful content such as rumour and hate speech on social media? How can we ensure that the algorithms that filter much of the content we see produce results that are both accurate and unbiased? What can we do to protect vulnerable users online?

In this talk we describe two projects that seek to advance safety and fairness online. We report on the findings of the Digital Wildfire project, which investigated opportunities for the responsible governance of social media - in particular looking into how we might prevent and limit the spread of hate speech and rumour online whilst also protecting freedom of speech. We also introduce the UnBias project, which investigates the user experience of algorithm-driven internet services and the processes of algorithm design. This project focuses in particular on the perspectives of young people and involves activities that will 1) support user understanding about online environments, 2) raise awareness among online providers about the concerns and rights of internet users, and 3) generate debate about the 'fair' operation of algorithms in modern life.

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This event is listed under: Lectures and talks; Free events
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