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S.I.F.T. Analysis

S.I.F.T. Analysis aka Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

Algorithmic Literacy

Algorithmic Literacy:  Explore the impact of unseen algorithms on the online content we see and the ramifications on privacy, discrimination, and polarization.

To Begin:

  1. Log in to your Google account on your phone or laptop.
  2. Click the Data & Personalization tab.
  3. Scroll down to Ad Personalization and click the link to “Go to ad settings.”
  4. Under “How your ads are personalized,” scroll through the personal information Google has collected about you including your presumed age and gender, shopping habits, and interests.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What is your reaction to these "personalization" algorithms?  
  • What is the implication of these algorithms on your search results?
  • What impact might algorithms have on society?

Algorithms are complex computational formulas used by online platforms like Google and Amazon to keep us engaged with their products and services. They collect data based on our online activity and use that data to tailor what we see... and what we don't see . . . sounds harmless but consider what happens when we are blind to algorithmic echo chambers which cater to our likes and dislikes reinforcing our beliefs and opinions.

Consider:  Use Google to search on the Keywords:  criminal sentencing algorithm.  Seek out an article about how algorithms are at play in criminal sentencing.  Examine the story and respond these questions:

  • What are the benefits / positive effects OR negatives / harmful effects of algorithms in criminal sentencing?
  • What are the societal implications of algorithms at play in criminal sentencing? 
  • What can you do to challenge or resist the influence of algorithms in criminal sentencing OR in our society?

Stop--S.I.F.T. Analysis:  Which letter did you find most important in seeking truth?  I=Investigate, F=Find Trusted Coverage or T=Trace to the Original.  Provide an Example.

Use the Padlet Board below to present your findings in the area of Algorithmic Literacy - Click on the + Sign and Label your Post:  1.  Your Name; 2. Algorithmic Literacy

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