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Medium | 09.03.14

What is “fairness”?

danah boyd

Fairness is one of those values that Americans love to espouse. It’s just as beloved in technical circles, where it’s often introduced as one of the things that “neutral” computers do best. We collectively perceive ourselves and our systems to be fair and push against any assertion that our practices are unfair. But what do we even mean by fairness in the first place?

In this article D&S founder, danah boyd unpacks the term fairness from its cultural struggle between equality and equity to the market-driven models of fairness. This is done to get readers thinking about how these different understandings shape society and specifically, to help tech companies think about the costs that can come when market-driven fairness guides your products.

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