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What's Your Algorithm? Steps on How You Can Diversify Your Internet Browsing

First published on LinkedIn.

Announcing a new curated Spotify playlist featuring interviews with Dr. Tana M. Session.

Visit Spotify to view the curated playlist of interviews featuring Dr. Tana M. Session. This month's poll asked...

Poll results: How does your organization support differently-abled individuals at work?

What are our personal biases and how do we come to form them? One medium that shapes our understanding of the world is the Internet. Algorithms learn our patterns and behaviors (i.e., our data) to provide 'better' content (aka "stuff we like"). This can lead us to believe in a distorted view of the world, one which confirms our biases.

What I teach in my Unconscious Bias course is that 90% of who we engage with in the world look or act like us (there's that confirmation bias again!). Algorithms will amplify voices you like and showcase ideas that match your data (and biases). No data can be ever really be considered unbiased, can it? (after all originates from people).

What often goes unnoticed are voices which we aren't nearly exposed to enough. One community that is often forgotten in the discussions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) is the differently-abled. This month, I challenge you to expand your sphere of information and discover new voices, and ideas and embed them into your search history and social media feeds.

Practices for diversifying your Internet data:

  • Be curious! Go out on your own time and search topics that you are less familiar with and less comfortable with. The more exposed you are to different ideas, the less bias your search results may show.

  • Look for new voices: Make a list of thought leaders and influencers you follow, is there a voice or community that's missing? How many of these individuals do you personally identify with?

  • Google isn't the only search engine: There are private search engines that don't share your personal data with third parties.

Don't miss these dates! July 14 is International Non-Binary People's Day, a day for increasing awareness and understanding about non-binary individuals. July 26 is the anniversary of Disability Independence Day, the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Your organization can take part online by posting your support and recognition and using the hashtag #ADA32.

Until next month... Be well and stay safe & healthy!


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