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Mozilla: Racism, misinformation, anti-worker policies are ‘undermining’ the Internet

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Mozilla’s latest Internet Health report reveals an online world becoming fragmented by critical social issues.
Racial bias, the spread of misinformation, and anti-worker policies are all eroding the ‘health’ of the Internet with its ecosystem becoming more and more fragmented, researchers say. Mozilla’s 2020 Internet Health report, published on Thursday, examines key concerns that could threaten the openness, security, and accessibility of the Internet. Now in its fourth year, the research aims to « engage policymakers, businesses, and the public in protecting the Internet as a global resource. » According to the non-profit, over the course of 2020, the web was besieged with problems related to a « built-in » racial basis that is exacerbating discrimination, and diversification is still an area that needs improvement. From artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that display bias against black and ethnic minority groups to search engine results that display white and US-centric content « by default, » Mozilla says that the Internet landscape « reflects a particular corpus of web content and the context of software developers, managers, and executives of technology companies who are rarely diverse in terms of race, ethnicity or gender. » In addition, tech giants failing to act transparently contributed to the spread of misinformation — a critical issue when you consider global events such as the spread of COVID-19 and the US election.

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