The Black Social Media Dilemma: The Paradoxes of Black Digital Life

The Black Social Media Dilemma: The Paradoxes of Black Digital Life promotional image

2021 M. Holly McGranahan Lecture given by Professor S. Craig Watkins, Ernest Sharpe Centennial Professor, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin.  Registration

The pace of change in the world of media and technology is truly unprecedented.  No where has that change been more evident than in the adoption and deployment of technology by African Americans.  From the routine and inventive adoption of social media to the savvy use of digital platforms to challenge systemic racism, Black digital life is growing increasingly more complex.   In this talk, S. Craig Watkins explores some of the complications of Black digital life, that is, the tensions associated with living in a world that is "open and connected."  For example, the Black migration to the digital world has built a powerful social network that leverages social capital to grapple with challenges like COVID-19, the mental health crisis in Black America, and the ongoing impacts of systemic racism in the media and technology sectors.  But deep engagement with the digital world also increases exposure to the proliferation of disinformation, racist trolling, and trauma.  Finally, the talk considers the implications of datafication and the demand for algorithmic fairness and justice.  What's at stake in the call for algorithmic justice and what measures must we adopt to build a more equitable data-driven world?

Thursday, April 15, 2021 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Virtual Event
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Meenakshi Gigi Durham in advance at 3193353355 or