Big, If True Webinar: “What if we limited our sample to white people?” A conversation with Anna Wiener, Author of Uncanny Valley

Big, If True Webinar: “What if we limited our sample to white people?” A conversation with Anna Wiener, Author of Uncanny Valley

March 3, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021 – How do technology platforms treat their employees and their users — and how do you write about it? On this episode of Big, If TrueDr. Chris GilliardAnna Wiener, and Joan Donovan, PhD discuss reporting on technology companies, their policies, and their practices.

This webinar also covers privacy and product design while discussing Anna Wiener’s book, Uncanny Valley. In Uncanny Valley, Wiener describes being twenty-five and moving from a New York literary agency to Silicon Valley start-ups. As the protagonist, she navigates corporate culture, extravagance, hierarchy, and misogyny.

You can watch a recording of the webinar below:


Dr. Chris Gilliard is a writer, professor and speaker. His scholarship concentrates on digital privacy, surveillance, and the intersections of race, class, and technology. He is an advocate for critical and equity-focused approaches to tech in education. His ideas have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, and Vice Magazine. He is a Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center Visiting Research Fellow, a member of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry Scholars Council, and a member of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project community advisory board.

Anna Wiener is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, covering Silicon Valley, startup culture, and technology. Her first book, Uncanny Valley, a memoir of her time in the tech industry, was published in 2020. She lives in San Francisco.


Hosted by Joan Donovan, PhDBig, If True is a seminar series presented by the Technology and Social Change Research Project (TaSC) at the Shorenstein Center. Dr. Donovan’s research specializes in Critical Internet Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and the Sociology of Social Movements. Dr. Donovan’s research and expertise has been showcased in a wide array of media outlets including NPR, Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ABC News, NBC News, Columbia Journalism Review, The Atlantic, Nature, and more. In 2020, the TaSC team launched the The Media Manipulation Casebook, a digital research platform linking together theory, methods, and practice for mapping media manipulation and disinformation campaigns. This resource is intended for researchers, journalists, technologists, policymakers, educators, and civil society organizers who want to learn about detecting, documenting, describing, and debunking misinformation.

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