“Interpersonal Algorithmic Injustice: The Role of Algorithms in Amplifying Epistemic Injustice and Social Distrust On- and Offline”


Oct. 21, 2022, 3pm to 5pm

Office/Remote Location

Room 122


Heather, Stewart, Department of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University

In recent years, much has been made of the problem of “algorithmic injustice” and the related problem of “algorithmic oppression.” These concepts seek to illuminate and explain the role of algorithms in exacerbating certain types of injustice (e.g., economic injustice, housing injustice, health injustice, and injustice within the criminal justice system). Within this growing conversation about “algorithmic injustice,” the focus has generally been at the “macro” level: algorithms reproducing discriminatory hiring practices, algorithms generating discriminatory decisions for mortgages or credit lending, algorithms generating biased predictions about the likelihood of recidivism in criminal justice contexts, and the like. While this “macro” level perspective, focused primarily on the use of algorithms in various types of institutional-level decision-making procedures, is undoubtedly important, there remains more to uncover about the role of algorithms in perpetuating social injustice. Specifically, more analysis of the influence of algorithms on our daily, interpersonal interactions (e.g., on social media and in real-life (offline) conversations with others, influenced as they are by social media) is needed. In this talk, I explore some of this undertheorized domain, arguing that a robust accounting of the injustice and oppression that algorithms cause must also include analysis of the seemingly subtle ways in which algorithms influence our social worlds and daily interpersonal interactions with others. Focusing on the role of algorithms on social media specifically, I argue that two algorithmic processes – algorithmic targeting and algorithmic sorting – contribute to the further distortion of our social and epistemic worlds, worsening problems of epistemic injustice and oppression and related problems of social distrust.



Admission Information

Open to the public

Contact Information

Philosophy Department
Nicole Moore

External Sponsor

UNLV Department of Philosophy