The Tech That Helps Us and the Tech That Harms Us: A June 12 Virtual Panel

By Mozilla | June 11, 2020

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The latest installment of Mozilla’s Dialogues & Debates series will explore the ways consumer technology both helps and harms communities of color

The U.S. is still reeling from the senseless killing of George Floyd. The days since his death have been filled with mourning, marching, and loud calls for change. It’s hard to ignore the similarities between these protests and the many civil rights protests of the past. It’s equally hard to ignore the role technology has played in both exposing and enabling these injustices.

From the smartphone that filmed Floyd’s murder, to the platforms that shared the video, to the apps used to coordinate protests, consumer technology is deeply entwined with how we document injustices and seek to right them. But consumer technology also has a history of amplifying racism. Smart doorbells surveil those of us who are black and brown. Facial recognition systems routinely misidentify black faces. Platforms allow mis- and disinformation to spread about the Black Lives Matter movement — including fake news about George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed.

On Friday, June 12, Mozilla will host a virtual Dialogues & Debates to examine the ways consumer technology can both help and harm communities of color. The conversation is slated for 11am PT / 2pm ET, and you can tune in on Twitter and YouTube. You can submit questions ahead of time by tweeting @mozilla with the hashtag #DialoguesAndDebates.

Our 40-minute panel will feature:

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Abadesi, founder of Hustle Crew, an initiative making tech more inclusive through talks, training and mentorship for millennial and Gen Z professionals. Abadesi co-hosts the Techish podcast, and previously led maker outreach at Product Hunt.

Twitter: @abadesi

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Megan Rose Dickey, senior writer at TechCrunch covering labor, transportation, and diversity and inclusion in tech. Megan previously wrote about technology at Business Insider.

Twitter: @meganrosedickey

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Sidney Fussell, senior writer at WIRED covering surveillance, data, and AI. Sidney previously wrote for The Atlantic and Gizmodo.

Twitter: @sidneyfussell

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And moderator Xavier Harding, former tech journalist and content writer at Mozilla.

Twitter: @iamxavier

Dialogues & Debates is Mozilla’s speaker series that usually occurs in-person at MozFest each year. We’re expanding the series into virtual terrain, to bring internet users the information they need to understand and advocate for a healthy and humane digital world. Watch past Dialogues & Debates here.

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