Algorithms and Social Harm

09 Nov 2021 10.00 AM - 11.00 AM NISTH Events Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public


With the extensive use of social media platforms, most if not all of our online activity/content is subject to algorithms managed by a few key players.  Algorithms are shaped based on our search results and browsing history.  It has been found that online content has caused offline harm in many occasions, from the Myanmar coup to the riot at the US Capitol.  Aside from political controversies, Frances Haugen’s testimony has made it evident that ‘amplification algorithms’ and ‘engagement based ranking’ affects human behavior and encourages destructive content.

Another example of such impact has been the increase in ‘tic-like’ behavior in Tik Tok users. Are these harms outweighed by the benefits we gain from them? Is it really algorithms that are the problem, or is it the way they are being used or something else? What should we be doing about this? Is the answer regulation? Join us to find answers to these questions.

NISTH Fellows, Prof Boh Wai Fong (Nanyang Business School) and Assoc Prof Andres Carlos Luco (School of Humanities) will be discussing the impact of algorithms directly or indirectly that affect human behavior and society at large. The session will be moderated by Assoc Prof Hallam Stevens and Prof Vanessa Evers, from NISTH.