ONN – What Is The Definition Of “Techno-Racism?” And What Is Techno-Racism?
The term “techno-racism” is new, and so new that it doesn’t even register on Google Trends as having a search track-record – there’s “not enough data” the system reports.
The first time a definition for “techno-racism” was used was in 2014, and that was in The Urban Dictionary:
The event where a piece of hardware or software limits functionality based on race. Sometimes due to primitive technology or developer oversight.
1. My black friend can’t play Eye Toy Play on the Playstation 2 due to his dark skin not being detected by the camera. This game is techno-racism at its finest.
That was a start, but not good enough. So, I decided to use one based on my own experiences, taking into account the afforementioned Urban Dictionary definition, but going a step beyond:
Based on a combination of my personal experience and what others have written here, is the simple definition of techno-racism is…
Any technical device or software or online creation that either intentionally or unintentionally excludes or leads to us to a series of actions that harms someone of a particular race or ethnicity
And then, the instances where technology is employed, the person on the receiving end of the harm has always been African-American.
In the case of the 2014 Urban Dictionary definition, it referred to people at airports who were misidentified as criminals who were black because the system was designed to match a person’s face who happened to be black with a database that included black photographs. And the software was not sophisticated enough to determine that the in the same black person at the airport wasn’t the person in the database so the person innocent at the airport as black was misidentified.
That’s one example. Another one comes from my personal experience with Google+ when Bradley Horowitz the person who designed the Google+ suggested user list, designed the list in such a way that if we were white as long as you had some name of note, but if you were black, you were either an athlete or an entertainer.
Here are three personal examples of techno-racism and from my post on the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
This is a rampant problem a problem that, from the media perspective, was given a spotlight by then ValleyWag Editor Owen Thomas, when he lampooned the New York Times for basically mistaking me (or so they say) for two different African-American men, and two consecutive paragraphs regarding the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debates (of 2007), instead of just finding out who i was, and mentioning me by name, or and even by video, since they were referring to the video.
The person that did it was NY Times Reporter Kate Seelye, who emailed me saying that she was sorry because she was tired. Really, she didn’t expect that anyone would care – she didn’t care. And then there are more insidious examples, where Twitter has removed account after account after account, because an african-american person (in this instance not me or in that instance not me) called for an investigation of the FBI because of african-american men who had not committed a crime, but were accused of committing a crime. I can go on, and on, and on.
And in my case, Twitter didn’t give a reason, they just did it, and then accused me of “platform manipulation”. If you go through each step of platform manipulation description
In Twitter there is not one example that describes anything that I have done on Twitter, and i dare Twitter to prove otherwise. They have never sent me any anything, nothing!
The only cause-and-effect that I can point to is a tweet that was based on a video that i made rightly expressing concern that Ivanka Trump was going to come to CES 2019 and speak while her father was basically declaring war against Iran.
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