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Nov 12, 2019

Has the internet made hate more infectious? Personalized feeds and sophisticated algorithms can direct us to content and communities that reinforce our most radical ideas and worst impulses—and dare us to act on them. Humanities WA invited us to a discussion as part of their Think and Drink series, encouraging us to explore the benefits of a connected world and ask whether the internet is built for hate. In collaboration with the iSchool at the University of Washington, Humanities WA presented a panel of speakers to help us examine the proliferation of online hate. They identified how a rise in hate groups, coupled with multiple mass shootings that incubated in dark online corners, has raised urgent questions about how the web has affected the way we treat one another. From trolling to White Nationalism, explore the mechanics of online hate, the responsibilities of tech companies and governments, and what we should—and shouldn’t—do to try to stem the tide.


Anna Lauren Hoffmann is a researcher, writer, and educator working at the intersections of data, technology, culture, and ethics. She is an Assistant Professor with The iSchool at the University of Washington, whose work centers on issues in information, data, and ethics.

Shankar Narayan is the Director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the ACLU of Washington. He works to bring values of fairness, transparency, and accountability to surveillance and machine learning technologies, and to lift the voices of impacted communities.

Eric Davis is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bellevue College. He has also taught Ethnic Thought and Culture at Pierce College, as well as Multicultural Communication at Cascadia Community College and Introduction to Multicultural Studies at Shoreline.

Presented by Humanities Washington, the iSchool at the University of Washington, and Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Forum on October 9, 2019.