Free Speech, But Only if the Algorithm Agrees?
Rama Barham (she/her) is from Palestine but was raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She moved to Canada in late 2015 and lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, for five years. She is currently completing a degree in Professional Communications at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. After Rama graduates, she aims to continue her studies by pursuing a Master’s in Digital Media. In the long run, Rama wants to work in the tech field as a UX/UI designer.
From the Arab Spring to the Black Lives Matter movement, social media has been a catalyst for many social, political, and human rights movements. Recently, however, there have been growing claims that social media algorithms are censoring political activists and underrepresented individuals by shadow banning them, deleting their posts, or censoring their social media pages. That is when my project: Free Speech, But Only if the Algorithm Agrees? came about. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand user interpretations of social media content moderation systems. In other words the study aims to understand why users feel like their social media posts which include/reference social or human rights activism are either deleted, censored, or get little to no reach.
Digital Media; Technology; Social Media; Human Rights; Social Justice