By Khawla Zainab

In the platform economy, women in the beauty service industry are falling through the cracks exposed by the pandemic.

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This article is based on research conducted as part of an ongoing project titled, ‘Centering Women in India’s Digitalising Economy’, jointly undertaken by IT for Change (ITfC) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), and supported by the European Commission.

Barely two months into India’s nationwide lockdown that came into effect on Mach 24, 2020, app-based home services platform, Urban Company (UC), announced a 102 percent surge in operating revenue for 2020. The six-year-old start-up, backed by Ratan Tata and several international…


By Mawii Zothan and Iona Eckstein

Platforms exert high levels of control over delivery workers. It’s time they took responsibility for workers’ wellbeing.

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This article is part of our Labor in the Digital Economy series from the Bot Populi website.

The precarity faced by workers on digital platforms precedes the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as with other low-wage insecure workers, the pandemic has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities experienced by platform delivery workers as companies prioritize market share over workers’ rights. In the absence of meaningful relief measures from platforms and governments, workers are falling through institutional cracks. …


By Mawii Zothan and Iona Eckstein

Platforms exert high levels of control over delivery workers. It’s time they took responsibility for workers’ wellbeing.

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This article is part of our Labor in the Digital Economy series on the Bot Populi website.

The precarity faced by workers on digital platforms precedes the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as with other low-wage insecure workers, the pandemic has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities experienced by platform delivery workers as companies prioritize market share over workers’ rights. In the absence of meaningful relief measures from platforms and governments, workers are falling through institutional cracks. …


By Cai Yiping

Gender, surveillance, and rights in China during Covid-19

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This article is part of our series on the coronavirus and its impact. You can read more of our work on the Bot Populi website.

On January 20, while speaking to China Central Television, 83-year-old Dr. Zhong Nanshan — who became a national hero for his courage to speak the truth during the SARS epidemic in 2003 — announced on behalf of a high-level medical expert group, the National Commission on Health, that the new coronavirus pneumonia discovered in Wuhan could be spreading among people. It had been more…


With Aliya Hashmi Khan

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This interview is part of Bot Populi’s Towards a Feminist Data Future series. You can read more related articles on our website here.

Automation, artificial intelligence, the gig economy, and demographic and social shifts are defining a ‘future of work’ that is already affecting workers, labor markets, and supply chains around the world. This changing nature of work has unique implications for women: disruptive technologies are affecting both the quantity and quality of women’s jobs while systemic constraints impact the ability of women to transition into new sectors. Workplaces increasingly require new skills and are calling…


By Zara Rahman

Why we need a justice-oriented approach to data that centres an analysis of power relations.

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This article is part of Bot Populi’s Towards a Feminist Data Futures series. You can read related articles on our website here.

In 2009, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke about the ‘danger of a single story’ subsuming the multiple overlapping stories that make up our lives, and the ways in which reliance on a single story to understand complex realities risks reducing people to single-identity lives or misunderstanding them entirely.

More than ten years later, we seem to be confronted with…


By Sonia Corrêa

Restricting movements of citizens on the basis of sex/gender reactivates the cultural norms on which the sexual division of labor and gendered inequalities are based.

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This article is part of Bot Populi’s ongoing series on Covid-19. You can read more on our website.

“But, people die, don´t they? Yes, indeed. However, the current naturalization of death erases thinking.”
- Santiago López Petit

In the first week of April, the international press reported that, in order to reduce drastically the circulation of people, the governments of Panama and Peru defined a sex/gender criterion to establish the rotation of…


By Deepti Bharthur

The Covid-19 crisis has allowed Big Tech to move away from the regulatory din that has surrounded it for some time.

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This article is part of Bot Populi’s ongoing series on Covid-19. You can read more on our website.

The year 2019 was the year of ‘the first great big techlash’, when regulators actively started to push back against Big Tech’s eat-the-planet tendencies and launched antitrust investigations; when users demanded greater accountability from social media platforms on their arbitrary content governance standards; when a US presidential candidate based, in large part, a campaign agenda on breaking up…


By Javier Ruiz

The global explosion of contact-tracing apps should not detract from developing public health responses and capabilities.

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This article is part of Bot Populi’s Covid-19 series. You can read more articles here.

Digital technology is assuming a central role in efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent weeks have seen hundreds of initiatives mushrooming worldwide, ranging from relatively innocuous collection of health data through survey apps and providing information to suspected victims, which nevertheless require strict controls against abuse, to more active measures such as enforcing quarantines and contact tracing.

Efforts to use digital technology…


By Valerio De Stefano and Christina J Colclough

The Covid-19 crisis must not lead to a watering down of human rights and workers’ rights in favor of quick fix solutions.

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This article is part of Bot Populi’s ongoing series on Covid-19. You can read more articles here.

With a sense of urgency to lift Covid-related restrictions, open up our communities, and get economies ticking all over again, over 28 countries in the world have hurried to launch various forms of contact-tracing apps. A further 11 countries will soon launch theirs. Essentially, these apps are surveillance tools that make use of…

Bot Populi

Founded by seven global organizations, we are an alternative media platform examining all things digital from a social justice and global south perspective.

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