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Towards a welcoming Web

Towards a welcoming Web

The Internet is supposed to be an open, accessible platform. Unfortunately, frequently we see pitfalls in reliability, accessibility or performance stemming from a privileged understanding of connectivity, cultural and economic context. It turns out, the Web can be unwelcoming to many.

This talk will set the necessary context for an inclusive design practice, focusing on accessibility and equality. We'll learn how to foster a user-experience focused culture, no matter whether you're a developer, designer, project or business owner. You will leave inspired to build a better Web for everyone.

Karolina Szczur

August 04, 2018

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  1. “We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served

    humanity. The increasing centralisation, has ended up producing a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.”
  2. Technology is a megaphone for harassment. Source: Twitter Has a

    Serious Harassment and Abuse Problem but Doesn’t Seem to Want to Cure It
  3. Technology treats personal data as currency. Source: Uber concealed massive

    hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers
  4. The doctor I saw was terrible. But luckily I received

    another opinion and the receptionist/nurse was lovely. Which is why I would go back The receptionist/nurse was lovely. Source: GP booking service HealthEngine sanitises patient reviews BECAME
  5. 78% of tech workers report some form of unfair treatment.

    Source: Tech Leavers by Kapor Center
  6. 0.8% of jobs in tech companies are held by Black

    women. Source: Here’s the clearest picture of Silicon Valley’s diversity yet: It’s bad. But some companies are doing less bad
  7. 29% is as high as the pay gap between men

    and women gets. Source: The Gender Pay Gap in Tech
  8. 30% of women of colour were passed over for a

    promotion. Source: Tech Leavers Study
  9. We’ve become complacent, engaging in an act of cultural denial.

    A process in which we avoid uncomfortable realities, like poverty, suffering, injustice and racial oppression.
  10. “A dangerous form of magical thinking often accompanies new technological

    developments, a curious assurance that a revolution in our tools inevitably wipes the slate of the past clean.” Virginia Eubanks
  11. Disruption isn’t a getaway free card to bypass laws, freedoms,

    moral compass, civil rights and human protections.
  12. Technology is not, and never was or will be, neutral.

    Our biases and prejudice are baked-in.
  13. “This myopic focus on what’s new leads us to miss

    the important ways that digital tools are embedded in old systems of power and privilege.” Virginia Eubanks
  14. “Ethical decision-making is like a muscle that needs to be

    exercised lest it atrophy, and experiments have shown that ‘moral reminders’ help people make more ethical decisions.” Irina Raicu
  15. Until anyone, no matter their background, will be able to

    survive and thrive and be represented online, the Web won’t be open.
  16. Algorithms create filter bubbles, preventing us from seeing disagreeable content.

    It’s harder to make informed choices as citizens. Source: Your filter bubble is destroying democracy
  17. Tech has to support and improve the civic processes on

    which democratic societies depend.
  18. • Respects and extends human rights • Serves and support

    democracy • Fights against the spread of misinformation • Encourages civic engagement Ethical technology:
  19. Tech-saturated world decreases our cognitive capacity and fosters anxiety, depression

    and stress. Source: The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World
  20. Technology should be a mindful, quiet companion to our lives

    rather than an overbearing disruptor, hijacking attention. Reference: Calm Tech and Centre for Humane Technology
  21. Ethical technology: • Requires minimum attention • Informs and create

    calm • Works in the background • Respects societal norms
  22. Data breaches might have catastrophic consequences; from identity theft to

    doxxing or swatting. Source: My Three Years in Identity Theft Hell
  23. Ethical technology: • Responds promptly to crisis • Eliminates single

    points of failure • Invests in cryptography and security • Protects the most vulnerable
  24. It’s humans who put artificial intelligence in place, and it’s

    humans who should take ownership for its systemic flaws.
  25. Ethical technology: • Is aware of diverse social and cultural

    norms • Creates policies for algorithmic accountability • Collaborates with lawmakers to advance regulations • Complies with national and international guidelines
  26. Data can be used to enhance user experience, but it

    also can be easily weaponised. Source: Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement
  27. Sensitive data should be easily modifiable, restricted, exported and deleted.

    Don’t collect it. Don’t store it. Don’t keep it. Source: Haunted by Data by Maciej Cegłowski
  28. Ethical technology: • Only collects data necessary for operation •

    Gives full control of data, including permanent 
 and swift deletion • Allows anonymity
  29. Lack of transparency increases the magnitude of harm and lowers

    accountability. Black boxes cannot be challenged.
  30. Ethical technology: • Responsibly discloses abuse of software • Establishes

    clear rules for reporting 
 and accountability • Has mission and value statements
  31. “Technologies and their design do not dictate racial ideologies; rather,

    they reflect the current climate.” Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression
  32. Ethical technology: • Is aware and combat unconscious bias •

    Tests for misuse and malice • Fights against harmful societal inequalities
  33. “When automated decision-making tools are not built to explicitly dismantle

    structural inequities, their speed and scale intensify them.” Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality
  34. Ethical technology: • Is inclusive of all people • Prioritises

    diverse teams and organisations • Prevents technological redlining
  35. “We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served

    humanity. The increasing centralisation, has ended up producing a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.” Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  36. The Web is ought to enhance our lives and fulfil

    our dreams, rather than crush hopes, magnify fears and deepen our divisions.