Author Archives

Hatim Rahman

Research Findings

Opaque algorithms are creating an invisible cage for platform workers

December 9, 2021

We live in a world run by algorithms. Nowhere is this more apparent than with platform companies, such as Facebook, Uber, Google, Amazon, and Twitter. Platforms claim that their algorithms collect and use our data to optimize our experience with breathtaking speed and efficiency. 

Recent reports from scholars, journalists, and policy makers, however, have revealed that platforms’ algorithms exacerbate bias and discrimination in ways that are difficult to audit. 

In my recent study of workers on a labor platform, I found a broader concern about the way platforms use algorithms to control participants. Platforms’ algorithms create an invisible cage for platform users, because workers have no way of reliably accessing how their data is being processed or used to control their success on the platform.

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