AMA Planning Thread

Waiting for final confirmation from Anton, but draft for now:

Title: Hi, I’m Anton Ekker and I won the first case in the EU against government use of an algorithmic decision-making system. AMA!

In 2014, the Dutch government introduced a legislation approving the use of a risk scoring algorithm to detect welfare fraud. This system, called System Risk Indication (SyRI), pools together data from various government agencies to calculate the likelihood of committing welfare or tax fraud. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights has described governments’ use of similar systems as “digital welfare states” and condemned them for their lack of transparency and oversight, and discriminatory impacts. In the case of SyRI, we discovered that the system used neighbourhood data to profile against migrant and poor communities.

With a coalition of privacy organisations, we challenged SyRI on grounds of privacy and equality violations. Earlier this year, the Dutch court found SyRI to be unlawful and ordered its immediate halt. You can read more here and here.

This case sets a strong legal precedents for future cases. Unfortunately, the Dutch government recently introduced a new legislation with even more intrusive use of personal data for automated decision-making system–the fight continues!

Join me and others this Wednesday at 6:30pm CET to AMA about automated decision-making systems and their impacts on our human rights.

About AMA

What is an AMA and how does it work?
AMA, or Ask Me Anything, is an interviewing format popularised via Reddit. In short, you ask me questions, and I answer them live for an hour.

How does it work?
Anyone is welcome to post questions/comments below. On Wednesday, I’ll come back to this thread to start answering questions I find interesting. I will do my best to reply to as many questions as possible, but please note that not all questions/comments will be addressed.

Who can join?
Anyone! As the conversations get going during the hour, you will see multiple threads naturally emerging. There is an open invitation for everyone to contribute–please feel free to reach out to other community members, either on the thread or via DM, to continue the discussion!


Anton’s post is now up! Please share on Monday: Hi, I’m Anton Ekker and I won the first case in the EU against government use of an algorithmic decision-making system. AMA!


Looking ahead, jotting down a few more speakers, esp on issues that are underserved or overlooked by current threads:


Some quick thoughts on AMA following our first run:

  • At the next @nextgenethno meeting, debrief on the scope of questions and answers. This was a good start, but we could certainly use more depth in responses. I wonder if this will be better addressed if the intro post reads more like a story??
  • More publicity from edgeryders social media account ahead, like this cute graphic. What channels of publicity do we have to engage partners?

hallo, here are the routines for how to get stuff promoted via Edgeryders channels and focused outreach efforts: Weekly Update: Please update this list of content to promote for the coming week

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key: we need explicit request with 4 weeks lead time, and information being put in that wiki plus brought up in Biweekly for it to be picked up

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Hello @johncoate @katejsim @Leonie the recap/relaunch post on the AM with Anton Ekker is up. I was now thinking of reaching out to him: “I have written a recap, with open questions… would you consider taking them as a wrapup?” Is that ok for you?


Sounds good!

we seem to use these two threads now for the same thing: Future AMA Suggestions and this one AMA Planning Thread - #23 by katejsim. where are we discussing the futture AMA’s?

ethno team’s been using this so please stick to this for any planning contributions

An addition to your list of suggested speakers:
Emmi Bevensee ( @emmibevensee):

“Emmi Bevensee, of Rebellious Data, SMAT, and the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, has finished the second of Rebellious Data new Research Insights series of deep dives into the critical topics of our time. This report looks at how hate movements are decentralizing using emerging technologies in ways that make them harder to combat. These technologies ask us critical questions about the future of society and the internet but also pose incredible potential to help us along our way. The infographic below sets the stage but the full report can be found here .”

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Are we listing people here for AMA ideas as well?

I just spoke to formr collegue who is a clinical psychologist and has worked with reserach for and via educational fin tech applications for children.

He would be open for an AMA. I thouhgt that could fit the children and technology use topic?

Do you think that would be interesting?

thanks @amelia for moving this to the right place.

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ok, moved the posts here

Sarah Chandler and decolonising looks interesting to me, as does Mutale Nkonde and her focus on AI.

In preparation for the next AMA event (which will ideally take place on December 9th, 6:30 CET), I have contacted Emmi Bevensee of Rebellious Data to talk about their recent report on the use of decentralised technologies for hate group organising. As per @nadia’s suggestion, I think they would be a very exciting next speaker!

Following our meeting on Monday with @katejsim, @johncoate and @alberto, we discussed a few tweaks to the AMA that we think will help make the next one even more in-depth:

I have integrated most of these points into my email to Emmi, asking them to begin answering questions before the event goes live and to check in a few times after the event to answer lingering questions. I asked them to write a brief (1-2 paragraph) description that is substantive enough for the community to engage with. I also prepped them that many community questions might be policy-focused, and to consider this in their description and the ensuing discussion.

I did opt to keep the live AMA to an hour, as I am not sure we can ask people to stay on for much longer - however, I hope that if they engage with questions before and after, this will make the conversation more in-depth.

As soon as I hear back from them I will let you know - with the aim of being able to confirm a date by Friday (if they respond in time). Should Emmi not be available for the AMA, we will ask the speaker @MariaEuler suggested (and with whom she is already in contact), and whose work fits in nicely with many of the threads we have going around tech and education.

Will keep you all posted!


great! Once you confirm them as a speaker ill push it to the outreach process :).

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@Leonie that looks like great work. Let me know if you need anything from me.

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Unfortunately Emmi is not available for the AMA, so let’s go with @MariaEuler’s suggestion.
Maria, you mentioned you are already in touch with him and he has expressed interest? Have you explained our format to him?

If you want to put us in touch, I am happy to coordinate with him. Otherwise, feel free to cc me in your emails and I am happy to answer questions etc.

In either case, I am posting part of my email to Emmi here. I used @katejsim’s template and added a few alterations based on our last meeting:

About the AMA:

Time: December 9th (or close to that date) at 6.30pm CET

What you would need to do:

  • Before: Log in to the platform and prepare a short paragraph or two of description to post on the EdgeRyders platform (around 2 weeks before the live event).

While the description can be kept brief, it should be substantive enough for community members to get a good sense of your work and to engage with it without asking too many clarifying questions.

Leading up to the live AMA, community members will respond to your post with comments and questions. Ideally, you would begin answering some of these questions before the event begins. This helps spark more in-depth discussion during the live event.

EdgeRyders has a very heterogeneous community from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and interests (activists, practitioners, academics, designers), and given the nature of our research, many are interested in the policy implications of current and emerging technologies. This might be helpful to keep in mind for the discussion.

  • During: be online in our platform for an hour to answer any questions community members have (6:30 - 7:30 CET)

  • After: check in a few times in the week following the event to answer any lingering questions.
    You might not be able to engage with all community questions during the event and sometimes community members will add questions and comments later on. Checking in to follow-up helps deepen the discussion, while giving community members a more detailed picture of your work.

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Will write him today about the details and try to shedule a call with him to discuss in detail as soon as possible.