Are new technologies promoting racism?

Racism in Technology 

 

As technology evolves so does everything (culturally) surrounding it. The way we communicate changes because the way we have interacted with our communication device has changed. We can now say what we please on the internet and have seemingly no consequences. People can be inspiring and cheerful, spread messages of love and joy, and promote philanthropy and kindness. People can also promote hate, bigotry, racism and other types of nasty beliefs openly. This rise of racism on the internet has increased dramatically with the new forums people can write on. Many people may read this and think, “oh well no one would actually say that”, and I would have agreed– until ten minutes ago. By simply typing in the word “racist” in to my unused Twitter account an alarming number of accounts popped up. “The Funny Racist” , “Not Racist, But…”, and “Racist Jokes” are some of the least offensive of the 50+ results. 

 

Why is this okay? I am all for supporting the First Amendment but at what point must a line be drawn? Or how can we make people more aware of the hate messages they are sending? These technologies we created have just created another forum for people to spread nasty messages. People would be alarmed and outraged if a racist message was plastered above the fold of a daily newspaper, yet on the internet it is the norm. There needs to be a set of standards (or at least consequences) for people spreading these beliefs. 

 

With every use of technology (or anything, really) there are going to be those who abuse it as well. It is unrealistic to say that any internet provider should be held responsible for everything opinion posted on their site. This consequently puts the responsibility in the hands of the readers. If there is something promoting racism on the internet, leave the site. If you are willing and able, a complaint could have an effect. 

 

Grace Marlette

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