Whose Knowledge Is Online? Practices of Epistemic Justice for a Digital New Deal


“The internet, as the primary digital infrastructure for knowledge, exacerbates existing inequities of marginalized communities across the world, even as it promises to be emancipatory and democratic. Through this essay, we offer our understanding of epistemic injustice, and how it manifests online. We also offer possible practices towards epistemic justice that need to be at the heart of any form of a “digital new deal”. We first analyze two critical ways in which epistemic injustice manifests online: knowledge infrastructures, and knowledge creation and curation. We then describe our work to challenge these injustices on Wikipedia and through radical community archives, in partnership with the Dalit community from South Asia and the diaspora, the Shoshone and Kumeyaay Native Americans from the United States, and the queer community from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finally, we offer three core organizing practices to decolonize the digital: centering the leadership of the marginalized and convening unusual and unlikely allies; contextualizing the digital to specific experiences and needs; and countering the hegemony of the “global” through a constellation of translocal imaginations and designs from across marginalized communities.”

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