Mapping (in)visibility and structural injustice in the digital space

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract This study aims to map digitally mediated injustice and to understand how judicial versus non-judicial bodies contextualize and translate such harm into human rights violations. This study surveys judicial and quasi-judicial cases and case reports by non-judicial bodies, mainly civil society organizations, international organizations, and media. It divides digitally mediated harms identified through the survey into three categories: direct, structural, and hybrid harm. It then examines how these three forms of harm are represented and articulated in judicial judgments and case reports. To differentiate between the three forms of digitally mediated harm, the study uses Iris Young's political philosophy of structural injustice and Johan Galtung's account of structural violence in peace studies. The focus of this study is understanding the forms of injustices that are present but rendered invisible because of how they are contextualized. Therefore, the epistemology of absence is applied as the theoretical approach, that is, interpretation of absence and invisibility. The epistemology of absence facilitates the identification of structural and intersectional injustices that are not articulated in the same way they are experienced in society. The assessment reveals four observations. (1) Structural injustice is rarely examined through a conventional adjudicatory process. (2) Harms of structural quality examined by courts are narrowly interpreted when translated into rights violations. (3) The right to privacy, often presented as a gateway right, addresses structural injustice only partially, as this right has a subject-centric narrow interpretation currently. (4) There are limitations to the mainstream way of seeing and representing risks and injustices in the digital space, and such a view yields metonymic reasoning when framing digitally produced harms. As a result, the conventional way of contextualization is blind to unconventional experiences of vulnerability, which renders structural and intersectional injustices experienced by marginalized communities invisible.
Authors Wodajo, Kebene Kejela
Journal or Publication Title Journal of Responsible Technology
Language English
Keywords Structural injusticeDigital spacePrivacyHuman rights
Subjects computer science
social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date April 2022
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 9
Number 100024
Number of Pages 9
Publisher DOI
Official URL
Depositing User Kebene Kejela Wodajo
Date Deposited 01 Feb 2022 21:35
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:47


[img] Text

Download (869kB)


Wodajo, Kebene Kejela (2022) Mapping (in)visibility and structural injustice in the digital space. Journal of Responsible Technology, 9 (100024).

Edit item Edit item