Best Of The Web
“No matter how well-intentioned their creators were, tech products can encourage and amplify existing racial biases. And Stanford University psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt says companies can take meaningful steps to reduce that effect — although it may come at the cost of the twitchy virality that has helped them grow so quickly.
“Bias can kind of migrate to different spaces,” Eberhardt said on the latest episode of Recode Decode with Kara Swisher. “All the problems that we have out in the world and in society make their way online. … You’re kind of encouraged to respond to that without thinking and to respond quickly and all of that. That’s another condition under which bias is most likely to be triggered, is when you’re forced to make decisions fast.”
In her most recent book Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, Eberhardt recounts how the local social network Nextdoor successfully reduced racial profiling among its users by 75 percent: It introduced some friction.
“They realized, after talking to me and other people and consulting the literature, that if they wanted to fight racial profiling on the platform that they were going to have to slow people down,” she said. “It used to be the case that if you saw someone suspicious you could just hit the crime and safety tab and then you could shout out to all your neighbors, ‘Suspicious person!’ Oftentimes, the person who was suspicious was a black man, and in the cases where it was racial profiling, this person was doing nothing.””
JJ Editor's Picks
"Venice's misfortunes never seem to stop. The popular tourist destination has been hit by the worst flooding in 50 years this week, resulting in damage worth hundreds of millions of euros. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a state of..."
"Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) must be feeling pretty good this week, if by "good" one means "proven right in an allegation anyone of good conscience must always hope will be proven wrong." Omar caught flak earlier this year for calling White House..."
"It was when I found myself perched on our rooftop at dawn in my pajamas, coating the asphalt shingles with Mongolian Hot Oil, that I first wondered whether I had lost perspective. The woodpeckers had forced my hand. Every morning that June, one..."
"Forty-nine years after she died of a heroin overdose at age 27, rock’s doomed diva is on the road again. “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a musical homage to the psychedelic era and its favorite blues singer, returned to its Bay Area roots in mid..."
"The Democratic candidates for President are promising a smorgasbord of new taxes, but why wait until 2021? Last week Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Congressman Don Beyer unveiled the Millionaires Surtax Act, a plan to soak the..."
"The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact..."
"Netanyahu’s last resort in a bid to avoid facing a courtroom would be requesting a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin, pending the recommendation of the attorney general. A knowledgeable source close to the senior echelons of the state...."
"There’s a TikTok that’s just a boy saying, “I may be ugly, but at least I’m also … dumb and annoying.” Then he dances while Ariana Grande’s “Successful” plays. It’s extremely funny, and a little bit sad, and I think about it every day. Kids on..."