Rebel Tech Newsletter: There is No Standard

published3 months ago
3 min read

March 14th, 2023

The Rebel Tech Newsletter is our safe place to critique data and tech algorithms, processes and systems. We highlight a recent data article in the news and share resources to help you dig deeper in understand how our digital world operates. DataedX Group helps data educators, scholars and practitioners learn how to make responsible data connections. We help you source remedies and interventions based on the needs of your team or organization.


"A Guardian investigation has found that a lot of AI algorithms used by social media platforms are biased. These algorithms rate photos of women as more sexually suggestive than those of men, especially if nipples, pregnant bellies, or exercise is involved. The consequence being censoring and suppressing the reach (shadowban) of countless photos featuring women’s bodies.”

It’s so easy for a code designing group of most or all men-presenting people living in a male-dominated society to objectify others, e.g., womxn and femmes, who they perceive and treat as objects. Everything everywhere that follows and stems from that single perspective and narrow sexualized root makes sense. The algorithms can’t conjure up alternative depictions of raciness. And the cascading impact remains systemic. For years, these problems with biased algorithms have been discussed, written about and shared online. Yet, no measurable changes have been made. Why? I think it’s because these platforms have gotten too big to mitigate the algorithmic-based harms they induce. Pregnant bellies will continue to be objectified. Womxn and femmes’ nipples will continue to be tagged as ‘racy’. We are forced to live our digital lives just as limited as our physical ones – without full autonomy.

The system has to be uncomfortable enough to negatively impact the men-presenting, wealthy and powerful people at a large scale for actionable and sustainable change to happen. We need a digital infrastructure and algorithm-wide collapse, similar to what we’ve seen with SVB, but for moderated content. Then, and maybe then, our algorithms along with the digital grid can be recalibrated to include those with disabilities, womxn, femme, Black, Latin, Indigenous and Asian people. Until then we are players in the game of avoiding being shadowbanned, using coded language and creating direct-to-consumer funnels – like this Rebel Tech Newsletter.

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As the impact of data science continues to grow on society there is an increased need to discuss how data is appropriately used and how to address misuse. Yet, ethical principles for working with data have been available for decades. The real issue today is how to put those principles into action. With this report, authors Mike Loukides, Hilary Mason, and DJ Patil examine practical ways for making ethical data standards part of your work every day.


Let’s get your mind all the way together. Reset daily. Say out loud 2 wins in your personal/career life. Yes, right now. Whoever is with you should be clapping. If you’re alone, then clap for your durn self. You’re conditioned to give to others, but today start a new habit – give yourself permission to celebrate your wins.

Black Women in Data Summit

September 23-24, 2023

ATL | Online

$499 In-Person | $79 Online

And sis, join as a BWD Annual member ($350 investment)! You'll get a complimentary tickets to the BWD Summit 2023 and we'll add 3 virtual tickets to our sponsor-a-sis pool. BWD Annual also gives you free access the conversations, worksheets, resources and other BWD events. We're gonna thrive in this data industry together.

Daily-ish rest routine suggestion: Drink 2 8-oz glasses of warm water with 2 teaspoons of lime or lemon juice when you first wake up. It benefits your body and helps set your day off right.

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There are always new opportunities to make this digital society a better place for all. Join the Data Conscience Book Tour. We are still accepting submissions for dates between March and December of this year. Complete the form below and we'll followup to confirm scheduling for online or in-person appearances.

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Brandeis Marshall - DataedX

Learn how to make more responsible data connections. I help educators, researchers and practitioners align data polices, practices and products for equity. Sign up for my Rebel Tech Newsletter!

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