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Photo “IMG_2746”, by Donald Macauley is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0; please see post script for more context

In addition to supporting a number of Facebook’s design and user research teams, I lead our Responsible Innovation & Design core team. …

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I waited tables and worked retail for years throughout high school, college and graduate school to support myself. I learned so many valuable lessons working in those places, and I’m a generous tipper as a result. You’d have to spill hot soup in my lap and then laugh at my anguish to earn less than 20%.

Office workers work hard, but we also tend to be much better rewarded, garner valuable benefits, and our fatigue comes mostly from mental exertion.

Minimum wage service workers are frequently. supporting families on poverty-level incomes, sometimes as single parents, and often it’s not their only job. They come home bone-weary tired. They are often subjected to rude and dehumanizing treatment — and sometimes harassment — by those they serve. …

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I want to share a talk I gave on the design track at SXSW in early March of this year. This talk was inspired by a deeply held belief that we are at a critical time in my company and our industry’s history, and to propose some ways in which we can rise to the challenges that go along with these amazing products that we’ve built.

As technologists, we are all stewards of some of the most powerful communication tools ever created. These tools have generated a lot of good in the world, but their very power requires a deep sense of responsibility and a commitment to making most ethically responsible decisions possible, every day.

While this talk was geared towards designers, the core of it is meant for all of us to broaden the aperture with which we view our responsibilities and to encompass both systems effects and societal impact. …


Margaret Gould Stewart

Vice-President of Product Design at Facebook. Previously at YouTube and Google. Ted speaker. Passionate about design, ethics, and tech. Find me @mags.

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