Meet the people that made a difference
Location: Het Huis Main Stage
In this panel several whistleblowers share their stories on how they revealed misconduct and injustices in the tech industry. Their experiences will show us what it means to stand up against unjust, unfair and opaque practices; against the power of Big Tech and the unethical use of digital technologies. Many whistleblowers face serious repercussions for their actions. How were their stories received and what actions were taken against them? What effects did their revelations have? And what still needs to happen to achieve structural change? We are offering a platform to whistleblowers because their stories can inspire us.
Participants: Thomas Le Bonniec (FR), Daniel Motaung (ZA) and Foxglove (UK)
Daniel Motaung used to work for a Facebook subcontractor, where he brought to light the poor working conditions of content moderators. When he and his colleagues attempted to organise a strike they were fired, and he has now started a lawsuit against Facebook/Meta. Thomas Le Bonniec revealed that Apple was using its voice assistant Siri to record private conversations between people who were not aware this was happening. In his work for an Apple subcontractor, Le Bonniec had to check transcriptions of private conversations, some of which concerned illness, relationships and other very personal issues. Foxglove is a British organisation that supports whistleblowers in the tech industry. In this panel, Foxglove will tell us about their mission, recent cases in which they were involved and urgent issues they feel need more attention.
What else is on Thursday?
Check the timetable to visit more programmes with your Festival Pass (5-days) or Day Pass (1-day). With the passes you can also visit the festival exhibition Our Terms, Our Conditions at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and Fotodok/Casco.
Thomas Le Bonniec― Speaker
Thomas Le Bonniec is a sociologist and an activist. In 2019, he helped unconver how Siri, Apple's vocal assistant, collected users' audio recordings without their knowledge. I have been working on the digital industry from a critical perspective ever since. He now is a PhD candidate at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris under Antonio Casilli and Corinne Vercher's direction. His research revolves around AI workers and Data Protection Regulation.
Daniel Motaung― Speaker
Daniel Motaung former specialises in digital content evaluation, and performance monitoring. TIME100 NEXT 2022 Awardee (Recommended by Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen in recognition of organising workers to fight against unjust practices within the content moderation environment and for putting “a face on the otherwise invisible human cost of moderating social media.”) His activism has redefined the digital landscape, pressing for the ethical and legal responsibility of Big Tech Companies. At the heart of his mission is the imperative to champion the dignity and well-being of digital content moderators. From highlighting Meta's content moderation challenges to championing the rights and welfare of content moderators globally, his unwavering commitment serves as a reminder of the essential and, at times, taxing role content moderators have in securing our digital spaces.