Has The World Of Big Data Forgotten Africa?

As Silicon Valley rushes to mine the world’s data, we must not forget that the big data world does not capture the world so evenly. Africa in particular presents a glaring blank hole in so many of the world’s datasets, but just how bad is this gap?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook once allegedly told colleagues “a squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” Indeed, this appears to have carried through to the design of his platform, with Facebook’s original Trending Topics feed being almost completely devoid of news sources from Africa, meaning that stories from across the continent could not appear to Facebook users until and unless they were covered by the American media, leaving out the majority of the continent’s events.

Author: Kalev Leetaru


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