Digital Project
17 May - 31 Jul 2021

Within the Terms and Conditions - Caroline Sinders

Online and on the Media Wall

Caroline Sinders’ Within the Terms and Conditions is an expanded documentary project documenting hate speech, misinformation and conspiracy theory contents hosted and distributed by major Internet platforms.

The strong influence that Internet platforms such as YouTube have on shaping public opinion has made them equally responsible for the contents that they host. Even if many companies have announced initiatives to remove conspiracy theory content, harmful attacks and extremist views, they are still accessible today.

Sinders has been researching online violence and harassment related to digital human rights for the last eight years. From January to March 2021 she watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos, 91 of which have been selected for this work. She then created nine categories that reflect on the public conversations that were going on at the media.

By May 2021, only six of the videos that she selected have been removed, two of which have been re-uploaded with a different title language. Some videos are as old as 2012.

Turtles All The Way Down

...the varying kinds of harms documented in the project are not going away, and they are permetating and bleeding across all platforms. Showing the muck, the harm, and the violence of platforms, and the content created and shared on those platforms may be a strange choice for an art piece. However, the messiness, harm, the algorithms, and their outputs, including the downstream effects that those platforms have offline in society should be documented in some way.

Read an associated essay by Caroline Sinders, contextualising the work.

View the work online

Alongside the Media Wall, visit an expanded version of the artwork online.

Within the Terms and Conditions has been commissioned for Imagin(in)g Networks, a programme exploring the existing and potential networks that use images to enable human and machine interactions.

Caroline Sinders is a critical designer and artist. For the past few years, she has been examining the intersections of artificial intelligence, abuse, and politics in digital conversational spaces. She has worked with the United Nations, Amnesty International, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation and others.

Sinders has held fellowships with the Harvard Kennedy School, Google's PAIR (People and Artificial Intelligence Research group), the Mozilla Foundation, Pioneer Works, Eyebeam, Ars Electronica, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Sci Art Resonances program with the European Commission, and the International Center of Photography. Currently, she is a fellow with Ars Electronica AI Lab with the Edinburgh Futures Institute and a visiting fellow with the Weizenbaum Institute looking at labor and systems in AI and platforms. Her work has been featured in the Tate Exchange in Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, LABoral, Wired, Slate, Quartz, the Channels Festival and others. Sinders holds a Masters from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.