Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and a merry and/or happy Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Saturnalia, and/or New Year! Here's looking forward to a great 2016 ...
One of the things I do at the start of each year is look at where I'm getting my news from. Google News is useful, but like any algorithmic selection it has its biases. In particular, I notice that most of the articles it shows me are guys writing about guys. Which isn't surprising, in a world where most large media companies are run by guys and most employees at those companies are guys and Google's algorithms are implemented by guys (etc. etc. etc.). Thus does patriarchy reinforce itself!
Crowdsourcing is a potentially an alternative, but the crowdsourced sites I know about like reddit or (in the tech space) Hacker News aren't any better. When the population is mostly male, and guys are more likely to submit links, guess what happens?
And of course it's not just the bias against women. Trans people, queers, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, people with disabilities ... the groups that are marginalized in society will tend to be marginalized online as well. And it's even worse at the intersections.
I'm sure it's possible to do better. What I'd really like is something that's been designed with an explicit goal of diversity, run by a woman-led organization where the software has been designed and implemented mostly by women and where the majority of the content comes from women and the people involved are intersectional feminists and/or womanists. There are some examples of this (Geek Feminism's Linkspams, for example) but the ones I know about are topic-specific. So I'd settle for approaches that have at least some of these properties -- or for that matter, just give me a more diverse set of perspectives!
Image credit: By Valerie Everett via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons