THREAD: Today I went to the public library for the first time in a long time. A woman came up to me and asked me to help her with the computer so she could apply for a custodial job. She had gone to the organization she wanted to work at, and was told to apply online.
I sat down with her and started walking her through how to create a profile for the organization’s recruiting system. She clearly wasn’t comfortable with a keyboard, so I helped her fill in the biographical data. When it came time to put in an email address, she didn’t have one.
I tried to help her set up an account with most of the major email providers—all of whom required a phone number to text to link to an account. The only phone number she had was the phone number for the shelter she stays at, which is a landline.
So, this woman who is seeking employment is precluded from even applying because she doesn’t have a cell phone, so can’t access email, and thus cannot apply?
Pivot—I work in countering disinformation, and one way to limit fake accounts is to verify end users by enforcing 2FA. This is something I have supported in the past.
Governments and tech platforms need to find a way to be able to both stop fake accounts from being created by verifying identifies, and allow those who need to be able to access the digital post office that is email to apply for jobs.
There has to be a better way. It could be a trusted portal at public libraries or a verification from the librarian, but we need to keep the internet inclusive and accessible—while detecting the manipulation of the internet by nefarious actors.
You can follow @lisackaplan.
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