Workshop at ACM Web Science 2021


Web Science studies how society and technology co-constitute one another and impact society at large. The nature of impact is shaped by data and algorithms used in the design of the technical systems. Consequently, the nature of impact encompasses the issues related to data ethics and accountability of the algorithm for harm assignment. Further, the web facilitates rapid knowledge acquisition and makes internet users an integral part of the knowledge economy. The non-users of the internet are deprived of abundant technology resources which widen socio-economic disparities within and between the nations. Presently, the study of socio-economic disparities is western-centric. Hence, the web science community also bears the responsibility to investigate and address the socio-economic issues that arise when web technologies are used.

The workshop on Data Ethics, Algorithmic Accountability, and Digital Inequality in the Global South aims to contribute to the research on issues surrounding data collection, generation, analysis, dissemination, responsibility assignment for harm in the algorithmic decisions, and inequality in the access and use of information, all of them being relevant in a web setting. Our workshop focuses specifically on the global south, a term often used to identify developing countries, as the aforementioned issues are currently centered in the global north setting. This workshop aims to bring researchers from diverse fields ranging from computer science, philosophy, law, policy, and social sciences to discuss challenging problems related to data ethics, algorithmic accountability, and digital inequality. We have invited several distinguished speakers with their research interests representing voices of the global south.


We invite submissions from participants who can contribute to the theory and applications of issues related to data ethics, algorithmic accountability, and digital inequality in the global south.

The topics of interest include, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Evaluation of the impacts of web technologies including AI. e.g. exploring how web data and algorithms shape social environments; how web systems can react to, produce, and reproduce social inequality and prejudice; the social consequences of automation; political economy of web tech.

  2. Evaluation of principles while designing web systems. e.g. how to philosophically conceptualize alignment with human values.

  3. Technical research into the representation, acquisition, and use of ethical knowledge of web data. e.g. ethical knowledge can be represented as rules; as utility functions; as stories and scripts; as deep neural networks.

  4. Web algorithms development e.g. Fairness; Interpretable and explainable models; Data collection and curation

  5. Web data and algorithm evaluation e.g. Metrics; Audits; Evaluations

  6. Human Factors in the Web Context e.g. Human-computer interaction; Humans-in-the-loop; Information visualization; UX design;

  7. Web Privacy and Security e.g. Formal approaches; Privacy-preserving models; Usable privacy and security

  8. Web Law and Policy e.g. Data protection; Non-discrimination; Organizational governance; Codes of ethics; Models from the global south perspectives

  9. Social and organizational processes impacting the Web e.g. Social and cultural dynamics shaping the web

  10. Community-based approaches e.g. Participatory web algorithm design; Community maintained web systems; Activism-driven web technological change

Each of the above topics must be discussed from the global south context.

Papers will be presented in poster format and some will be selected for oral presentation. Through invited talks and presentations by the participants, this workshop will bring together current advances in data ethics, algorithmic accountability, and digital inequality in the global south, and set the stage for continuing interdisciplinary research discussions.


Workshop Date and Venue: June 21, 2021, and Virtual (Central European Time)