Digital Media, Inequality, and Cyber-Civil Rights

July 8 – 19, 2024
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Computer Science
Sophie Maddocks

From ordering a taxi to searching for a job, new media technologies have revolutionized the way we live our lives. Although they make our lives easier, these technologies also pose major risks and challenges. Using real-world examples of algorithmic bias, surveillance, deep fakes, and disinformation, we think critically about the role of digital media technologies in reinforcing and challenging social inequalities. From the career of NASA mathematician Christine Darden to last year’s #BlackoutTuesday campaign, we investigate how new technologies and old social inequalities influence each other. In this module, we become researchers: reading key texts from the fields of communication and critical internet studies and applying them to our own research projects focused on the technologies that matter to us. At the end of this module we zoom out, exploring futuristic visions of life online and reflecting on our own roles as “digital citizens.”