Talk addresses racial oppression and the internet


CORVALLIS, Ore. — A scholar with expertise on the Trayvon Martin case is examining the role of social media in creating a spectacle around news reports of African American deaths by members of law enforcement.  

Safiya Umoja Noble will give a public lecture called “Challenging Algorithms of Oppression: Black Annihilation and the Internet,” from 3:30-5 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Valley Library at Oregon State University. Noble is an assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, and her talk will be in the library’s second floor rotunda.

The circulation of surveillance videos and images of African Americans killed by law enforcement has been enhanced by the spectacle of new media. Noble builds upon her previously published research about Trayvon Martin in “The Black Scholar” and proposes that media spectacles are created by surveillance records to foster news ratings and advertising revenues at the expense of national conversations and public policy that address racial justice. In this talk, Noble will offer models of intervention through research and teaching, and talk about the importance of examining the consequences of information and technology projects.

She will also lead a workshop, “Field notes from Critical Information Studies (and What Can We Learn from Google Glass),” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 16. Those interested can register at http://bit.ly/2fmNIij

Umoja Noble is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She is currently working on a monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in search engines, and is the co-editor of two books: “The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online” and “Emotions, Technology and Design.”

Support for this event comes from OSU Libraries and Press, the College of Engineering, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the School for Language, Culture and Society, Queer Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Ethnic Studies.

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