How Our Relationship with AI Reflects our Attitudes Towards Women

How Our Relationship with AI Reflects our Attitudes Towards Women
By Sarah Keeshan Before the 1990s, many of the defining representations of AI in popular culture were male, whether embodying a broad societal threat such as Gort of The Day the Earth Stood Still, the cylons of the original Battlestar Galactica, the eponymous machine in The Terminator, Ash in Alien or warmer and friendlier individuals, such as C-3PO in Star Wars, and Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Notable exceptions to this pattern include the...

GKO Launching in Canada with a Focus on Privacy

GKO Launching in Canada with a Focus on Privacy
By Robert H. Porter This blog has been cross-posted with Global Kids Online, and marks the beginning of the Canadian Kids Online project, which is officially launching in 2018. The eQuality project, in partnership with UNICEF Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) will be bringing Global Kids Online to Canada in 2018 with the launch of the Canadian Kids Online project led by Professor Valerie Steeves (University of Ottawa).

Hate Speech and Spray Paint

Hate Speech and Spray Paint
By Robert H. Porter A German comedian recently made international headlines by stencilling and spray painting 30 offensive tweets outside of Twitter’s Hamburg Headquarters. This was part of Shahak Shapira’s #HEYTWITTER (NB: contains graphic language) campaign, launched in response to Twitter’s failure to delete any of the 300 tweets that Shapira reported to Twitter for their racist, Islamaphobic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic content. According to Shapira,

Online Censorship Through Selective Demonetization

Online Censorship Through Selective Demonetization
By Robert H. Porter YouTube recently made the decision to clarify its policy concerning the “advertiser friendliness” of content creator’s videos, which has led to an apparent increase in the demonetization of online content. Demonitization is essentially the reduction of content creators’ ability to collect ad-based revenue from their content. While this demonetization has been occurring since 2012, it was only recently that YouTube changed its communica

Inequality in Gaming

Inequality in Gaming
By Trevor Milford (eQuality Project Student) On 15 September, professional gamer and game designer Stephanie Harvey came to the University of Ottawa to discuss her experiences in the gaming industry. As a doctoral candidate working on issues involving discrimination in gaming, I was particularly interested to hear Stephanie’s insights on how inequality and virtual harm impacted her livelihood. I’d heard about the event through a promotional article entitl

Talking Not Spying

Talking Not Spying
By Jolene Hansell (eQuality Project Student)[1] GoGuardian is a program installed in about 3 million school-owned computers. This program has the ability to monitor a students web-browsing and searches even when students are at home in the evenings or on weekends. The program automatically flags certain search terms, including those related to suicide. The idea is that when a student searches about suicide, the computer flags this search for the school’s

“Title IX” Used to Attack Vulnerable Students and Professors

“Title IX” Used to Attack Vulnerable Students and Professors
By Sarah Thuswaldner (eQuality Project Student) Laws like Title IX in the United States are meant to protect students from sexual assault and discrimination – but that didn't stop an alleged sexual assailant from trying to claim that same protection in a lawsuit against his university. Columbia University art student Emma Sulkowicz drew international headlines with her senior thesis: "Mattress Performance (Carry that Weight)." She carried a twin-size mat

A Commentary on Comment Sections

A Commentary on Comment Sections
By Robert H. Porter The seemingly ubiquitous ‘Comment Section’ is generally regarded as a place that Internet users should simply avoid. The unfortunate reaction by a large proportion of the online population is along the lines of: ‘abandon all hope those that enter here.’ While the reputation of comment sections is generally negative, how bad are they in practice? Comment sections can be places to share interesting and invigorating discussion, but are

Special Lecture: Cyberviolence: Interrogating ‘Empowerment’ & ‘Safety’

Special Lecture: Cyberviolence: Interrogating ‘Empowerment’ & ‘Safety’
By Jane Bailey (eQuality Project Co-Leader) While we tend to hear a lot about “cyberbullying”, we much less often hear the term cyberviolence. What is the difference? Why is it meaningful? Join us for a panel discussion about cyberviolence, it’s implications for girls’ and women’s equality and some important initiatives for addressing it. Among other things, panelists will aim to unpack some of the issues around what it means to “empower” girls and young

She May Look Different, But The Story Is Still The Same

She May Look Different, But The Story Is Still The Same
By Jolene Hansell (eQuality Project Student) Barbie has undergone a makeover. In the past 50+ years, Barbie has had 150 careers, 50 nationalities, 40 pets, countless luxury vehicles, and thousands of makeovers, but none compare to this. This month, Mattel unveiled not just one, but 28 new, unique Barbie dolls. Barbie now has 24 hairstyles (including an afro, curly hair, and long blue hair), 7 different skin tones, 22 eye colours, 3 new body shapes (tall,