Digital Civil Society Lab

Decolonizing Digital Ecosystems

This research cluster explores the origins and meaning of current calls to decolonize digital ecosystems and examines their implications for research, design, regulation, and advocacy.

Our societies are in the process of grappling with the harmful impact of a wide range of data-driven technologies, from predictive algorithms and facial recognition technology to NLP models and automated content moderation. Driving this reckoning, a growing community of scholars and civil society voices call for challenging what they see as digital colonialism. This research cluster explores the origins and meaning of these calls to decolonize digital ecosystems and examines their implications for research, design, regulation, and advocacy.

Decoding Digital Democracy in Africa

This collection of 20 essays both summarises and advances the latest research and policy debates, enabling a fresh and timely understanding of some of the biggest issues facing the continent today – from internet shutdowns and AI regulation to social media mobilization, disinformation, and government surveillance. (2021)

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Free Basics and the African Digital Civil Society

An investigation of the quiet expansion of Facebook’s Free Basics program in Africa, calling for an analytical focus on the landscape of the digital civil society in Africa. (Ongoing)

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Algorithms against linguistic biases: the Africa Stereotype Scanner

The Africa Stereotype Scanner (ASTRSC) is a tool that seeks to help reduce misrepresentations of Africa in the media. This sharable, open-source tool allows authors to instantly identify and address clichés and linguistic biases in their writing.

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