Children make up a third of all Internet users, yet the complex algorithms that shape their online experiences are rarely aligned with their interests or their needs. Dependent on adults to guide and structure their online experiences and their access to media, information, and social connection, children are an especially marginalized and vulnerable population. Although it was originally hailed as a great equalizer, the Internet has increasingly become a great unequalizer; with privileged children able to reap its benefits, while vulnerable and lower-income children experience more algorithmically based injustices. We are beginning to understand how the algorithms that drive our media and technology can reinforce racism, sexism, abilism, and other forms of societal inequality and injustice, but the impact of AI and algorithms on children is largely unknown. Algorithmic justice for children is a very new concept.
Through a wide range of voices—child development experts, researchers, educators, parents, and children themselves—this special issue of JoDS will explore different facets of the emerging area of algorithmic rights for children and begin to answer the critical question: How can we build a more equitable algorithmic world for all children?
Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab
Mimi Ito, UC Irvine Connected Learning Lab
Candice Odgers, UC Irvine Connected Learning Lab
The call for submissions is now open.