Democratizing Big Tech

This week I dove into the project called Democratizing Big Tech.  

The goals of the whole project are to protect user data, discover what big tech is doing with users' data, and investigate political micro-targeting.  In regard to Twitter, the goal is to discover what the company is doing with data, content moderation, etc.  With Facebook, we are investigating hate speech and xenophobia, and anti-migrant attitudes on the site.

We had a two-hour meeting on Tuesday in regard to how to set up the investigation.  In preparation for this, I read some of the briefs and memos written by attorneys in the office.  In the meeting, the strategy for the investigation was discussed where we would create fake Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok accounts to create ads that contain hate speech and anti-migrant speech in order to investigate the platform's screening process.  We are also translating the ads into four of the popular languages here in South Africa in order to investigate how well the platforms can manage hate speech in these popular SA dialects.  Once the ads are approved, we will screenshot the message and delete the ads, making sure no further hate speech disseminates. 

I am excited to be working at the foundation of this investigation and am looking forward to the results that will come from it!


Till next week!