Journal of Social Computing


race, gender, ethics, tech, bias, equity, society, policy


Critical tech ethics is my call for action to influencers, leaders, policymakers, and educators to help move our society towards centering race, deliberately and intentionally, to tech ethics. For too long, when “ethics” is applied broadly across different kinds of technology, ethics does not address race explicitly, including how diverse forms of technologies have contributed to violence against and the marginalization of communities of color. Across several years of research, I have studied online behavior to evaluate gender and racial biases. I have concluded that a way to improve technologies, including the Internet, is to create a specific type of ethics termed “critical tech ethics” that connects race to ethics related to technology. This article covers guiding theories for discovering critical tech ethical challenges, contemporary examples for illustrating critical tech ethical challenges, and institutional changes across business, education, and civil society actors for teaching critical tech ethics and encouraging the integration of critical tech ethics with undergraduate computer science. Critical tech ethics has been developed with the imperative to help improve society through connecting race to ethics related to technology, so that we may reduce the propagation of racial injustices currently occurring by educational institutions, technology corporations, and civil actors. My aim is to improve racial equity through the development of critical tech ethics as research, teaching, and practice in social norms, higher education, policy making, and civil society.