“No Application Without Representation”


By Kiera Schuller

As part of ICTC’s Technology and Human Rights Series, ICTC spoke with tech ethicist and digital citizenship expert David Ryan Polgar. David has brought to light some of the hotly debated issues that exist at the intersections between social media, privacy, ethical design, and digital wellbeing. He has helped define what it means to be human in the digital age. An attorney and former educator, David is the founder of All Tech Is Human, an accelerator for tech consideration and hub for the responsible tech community. David is a three-time TEDx speaker and has been featured by CBS This MorningBBC World News, the Today showFast CompanyUSA TodayAPLA Times, and The Guardian. David serves on TikTok’s Content Advisory Council, is an advisory board member for the Technology & Adolescent Mental Wellness program, and is involved in many other related responsible tech initiatives. Kiera Schuller, Research and Policy analyst with ICTC, interviewed David about strategies for tackling tech ethics, the implications of the data revolution, and how to be an engaged “digital citizen.”


One of your central topics is digital citizenship. You co-founded the global Digital Citizenship Summit, held at Twitter HQ in Oct 2016, and have a class on digital citizenship for adults, filmed with Skillshare. How do you define a digital citizen? What does being a digital citizen entail, and why is this concept important?


The way I like to define digital citizenship is “the safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media and technology.” The concept has been around for nearly 10 years but has been more popular in the K-12 space among teen and younger audiences, particularly in the US. Lately, however, organizations like Common Sense Media have started sharing the concept with older age groups; and colleges and universities have started asking, “What kind of digital citizenship training do we have for college students, or even adults?” Digital citizenship transitions us away from viewing people as users to viewing them as citizens. Right now, I’m sitting in the US, and I am considered a citizen of the US as well as a resident of a state and a city. Each of these roles comes with certain rights, responsibilities, and obligations.

Read the full interview here 🎙


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