Connect with us

Technology

What’s missing from corporate statements on racial injustice? The real cause of racism.

Published

on


On August 31, Airbnb launched Project Lighthouse, an initiative meant to “uncover, measure, and overcome discrimination” on the home-sharing platform. According to the company, Project Lighthouse will identify discrimination by measuring whether a renter’s perceived race correlates with differences in the rate or quality of that person’s bookings, cancellations, or reviews. This project comes amid an outpouring of solidarity statements and policy changes from the tech industry in response to uprisings after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25.

While these nods toward racial justice may be well-intentioned, they highlight a problem that casts doubt on whether the industry’s efforts to date can truly combat bias: the tendency to position race, not racism, as the cause of discrimination.

This way of thinking about inequality is emblematic of “racecraft,” a term coined by sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields to describe “the mental terrain and pervasive beliefs” about race and racism in America. Though Fields and Fields outline many aspects of the concept, their basic proposition is that the very idea of race arises out of racist practices rather than biological realities. Racecraft, they write, is a “conjuror’s trick of transforming racism into race, leaving black persons in view while removing white persons from the stage.”

A good example can be seen in Airbnb’s introduction to Project Lighthouse, which states that the company was “deeply troubled by stories of travelers who were turned away by Airbnb hosts during the booking process because of the color of their skin.” Were those guests really turned away because of their skin color, or because their prospective hosts were racist?

The same maneuver can be seen in a statement from Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, in which he says the platform’s efforts to ensure that Black voices are heard “won’t stop with the disparities people may experience solely on the basis of race.”

Racecraft, as conceptualized by Fields and Fields, is what allows Airbnb and Instagram to transform an aggressive act—racism—into a mere category: race. This sleight of hand positions race as the problem, allowing companies to absolve themselves of responsibility for racism. It also perpetuates the alluring myth that abolishing racial categories will lead to the post-racial society some hoped would follow the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency in 2008.

The truth companies need to grapple with, however, is that racist actions—not racial categories—are what cause discrimination.

I found linguistic evidence of racecraft throughout 63 public-facing documents that I collected and analyzed from Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, all issued between May 26 and June 24 of this year. In a moment marked by racial injustice, these companies were reluctant to even use the word “race,” regularly opting to use “diversity” instead.

These statements (including those from TikTok and Facebook) also explicitly address Black people far more frequently than white people by using phrases such as “We stand with the Black community.” In 63 statements, Black people and communities were referenced 241 times while white people were referenced only four times.

By so rarely naming whiteness, these statements normalize the ideas that white people are raceless and that only those oppressed by the racial structure need have any interest in dismantling it. This language also suggests that dismantling racism doesn’t require confronting those privileged by racism.

This critique might seem nitpicky, but the language people use to talk about racism shapes how they understand what’s happening and which solutions sound appropriate. As others have pointed out, for example, the term “officer-involved shooting” is a passive phrasing that deemphasizes police officers’ use of deadly force, obscuring their role in state violence. In the same way, the language in these tech company statements obscures the central role that whiteness and racism play in the injustices Black people endure.

Such obfuscation spills over into the solutions that companies propose. Project Lighthouse, for example, is built to examine the (Black) people who experience racism on Airbnb rather than the (white) people who are responsible for perpetuating it. This again positions race, not racism, as the problem to be overcome. By focusing on race as a category, Airbnb has inscribed the mental tricks of racecraft into its project.

Tech companies and social-media platforms need to understand that fighting racism cannot start and end with statements of solidarity and technical fixes.

Real change begins with increasing the number of people from underrepresented groups in executive positions, which both Airbnb and Facebook pledged to do in their statements. But tech companies cannot think about Black employees as just a convenient resource in times of racial upheaval. In crafting their public statements, many of these companies relied on Black employee groups for assistance. All of Twitter’s statements, for example, were written by employee resource groups—but, as the Washington Post has reported, this work was often unpaid, fell outside employees’ normal duties, and had potential negative ramifications for them.

Bland statements about diversity and inclusion fail to address the long-standing anti-Black injustice that persists in American society. The tech industry must talk about racism in ways that implicate systems of power and call attention to the systemic inequality and racial injustice that Black people face. Only then can the industry produce solutions that reduce harm.

With ongoing unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after yet another case of racialized police violence, we’re sure to see more corporate statements regarding racial justice. Without more awareness of racecraft and its harms, they’re bound to repeat the same mistakes.

Amber M. Hamilton is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota and an affiliate of the Microsoft Research Social Media Collective. Her work focuses on the intersection of race and technology.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology

Anti-Piracy Group Seeks Owners Of YTS, Pirate Bay And Others

Published

on


The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is attempting to uncover the owners of pirate sites like YTS, Pirate Bay, Tamilrockers, and several others.

For that purpose, ACE previously filed a DMCA subpoena that requires Cloudflare to unveil operators of several pirate sites. According to the latest report from Torrent Freak, a total of 46 high profile pirate websites have been named by the anti-piracy coalition.

ACE is an anti-piracy organization that crackdowns on the operators of pirate websites. Some of its members include Amazon, Netflix, Disney, and Paramount Pictures. The latest targets of this crackdown are pirate sites using Cloudflare. For the uninitiated, Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) service provider used by millions of websites globally.

In the first half of 2020, Cloudflare received 31 such requests, concerning 83 accounts, most of which were related to adult sites.

The current subpoena targets 46 pirate websites, including some big fish like Pirate Bay, YTS, 1337x, 123Movies, and more. Once in action, it’ll force Cloudflare to reveal the IP addresses, emails, names, physical addresses, phone numbers, and payment methods of the people operating these websites.

Here is the list of domains that ACE wants to gather information on —

  • yts.mx
  • pelisplus.me
  • 1337x.to F
  • seasonvar.ru
  • cuevana3.io
  • kinogo.by
  • thepiratebay.org
  • lordfilm.cx
  • swatchseries.to
  • eztv.io
  • 123movies.la
  • megadede.com
  • sorozatbarat.online
  • cinecalidad.is
  • limetorrents.info
  • cinecalidad.to
  • kimcartoon.to F
  • tamilrockers.ws
  • cima4u.io
  • fullhdfilmizlesene.co
  • yggtorrent.si
  • time2watch.io
  • online-filmek.me
  • lordfilms-s.pw
  • extremedown.video
  • streamkiste.tv
  • dontorrent.org
  • kinozal.tv
  • fanserial.net
  • 5movies.to
  • altadefinizione.group
  • cpasmieux.org
  • primewire.li
  • primewire.ag
  • primewire.vc
  • series9.to
  • europixhd.io
  • oxtorrent.pw
  • pirateproxy.voto
  • rarbgmirror.org
  • rlsbb.ru
  • gnula.se
  • rarbgproxied.org
  • seriespapaya.nu
  • tirexo.com
  • cb01.events
  • kinox.to
  • filmstoon.pro
  • descargasdd.net

Earlier in August, it was reported that torrent giant YTS had revealed user data with a law firm. This led to the users receiving letters from the law firm, asking them to pay around $1,000 for using the pirate site or be named in a lawsuit for piracy.

Recently, ACE has set out on a crusade to banish pirate websites. While there has been no significant action from the group in the past few years, 2020 is seeing increasing activity in reporting and controlling piracy.

The post Anti-Piracy Group Seeks Owners Of YTS, Pirate Bay And Others appeared first on Fossbytes.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Technology

Google is making a major change to one of the best Chrome features

Published

on



  • Google announced that the Chrome browser will shut down support for paid extensions, advising developers to make appropriate changes as the feature is deprecated.
  • Google explained that the web has evolved dramatically since the introduction of the Chrome Web Store, and developers have other tools at their disposal to monetize content.
  • The deprecation of the extension payments feature should also bolster the security of Chrome, preventing spammy extensions and scams from harming users.

Google’s Chrome internet browser may be a resource hog that kills laptop batteries, but it’s still the most popular browser in the world. One of the things that make it so popular is the support for extensions that can significantly improve one’s browsing experience. That’s an area where Apple’s Safari lags behind, and one reason I’ve stayed with Chrome on the MacBook for years.

But Google plans a significant change for Chrome shortly — well, another major change — that will impact Chrome extension developers directly. Google is now shutting down paid Chrome extensions, telling developers that they will have to find a new way to charge their customers.

Google put up a support page that addresses the change and the timeline for the update. The Chrome Web Store Payments deprecation will not happen instantly, so developers have time to make the appropriate changes. But all payments will be disabled by February 1st, 2021. Here’s what will happen once we reach that deadline:

Your existing items and in-app purchases can no longer charge money with Chrome Web Store payments. You can still query license information for previously paid purchases and subscriptions. (The licensing API will accurately reflect the status of active subscriptions, but these subscriptions won’t auto-renew.)

Developers who want to charge money for new extensions will not be able to do so and will have to find other ways of monetizing their Chrome apps.

Google isn’t shutting the door to monetization completely, it’s just the Chrome Web Store Payments system that’s shutting down, and Google. Developers will have to migrate to a different payment processor, and they’ll have to migrate license tracking as well. This may sound like a task for developers only, but Google does not that users might need to “help:”

There is no way to bulk export your existing user licenses, so you need to have your users help with this part of the migration.

In other words, if you’re paying for any Chrome extension, you should make sure you have your license ready when the time comes to transition to something else, especially if you’re on some subscription plan.

Google explains that the web “has come a long way” since the Chrome Web Store was launched, and that’s why things are changing. “In the years since, the ecosystem has grown, and developers now have many payment-handling options available to them,” Google says.

One other reason to remove Chrome Web Store payment support concerns user security. Google confirmed earlier this year an uptick in the number of fraudulent transactions that involved Chrome extensions, having temporarily disabled publishing paid items in late January.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Technology

How old age is changing: Researchers say senior citizens are fitter than ever before

Published

on


Elderly people are fitter and healthier than ever before, researchers say (Provider: Sujata Setia)

Senior citizens are fitter and healthier than ever before, according to a new study.

Researchers found that older people are keeping physically fit and mentally strong for longer.

Older people’s physical and mental abilities have improved ‘meaningfully’ when compared to that of their peers three decades ago, according to new research.

Experiencing cognitive and physical decline after a certain age – known as the ‘lifetime maximum’ – is to be expected.

Rising living standards are however delaying the twilight years tipping point.

Co-author post doctoral student Matti Munukka, of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, said: ‘The cohort of 75- and 80-year-olds born later has grown up and lived in a different world than did their counterparts born three decades ago.

‘There have been many favourable changes. These include better nutrition and hygiene, improvements in health care and the school system, better accessibility to education and improved working life.’

Elderly couples and life lessons photo series

Researchers looked at seventy and eighty-year-olds now and compared them with the same ages in the 1990s (Provider: Sujata Setia)

The researchers compared the physical and cognitive performance of 75 to 80-year-olds today with that of same-aged people during the 1990s.

Co-author Professor Taina Rantanen also at the University of Jyväskylä said: ‘Performance-based measurements describe how older people manage in their daily life, and at the same time, the measurements reflect one’s functional age.’

Muscle strength, walking speed, verbal fluency, reaction speed, reasoning and working memory among elderly men and women are nowadays ‘significantly’ better than 30 years ago, the scientists found.

Co-author Doctoral Student Kaisa Koivunen said: “Higher physical activity and increased body size explained the better walking speed and muscle strength among the later-born cohort.

‘Whereas the most important underlying factor behind the cohort differences in cognitive performance was longer education.’

Life expectancy in the UK for a baby born in 2018 now sits at 87.6 years for a boy and 90.2 years for a girl, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Professor Rantanen said: ‘This research is unique because there are only a few studies in the world that have compared performance-based maximum measures between people of the same age in different historical times.

‘The results suggest that our understanding of older age is old-fashioned.’

Elderly couples and life lessons photo series

The UK has an aging population (Provider: Sujata Setia)

Understanding elderly people is particularly important for countries like the UK, which have an aging population.

Professor Rantanen said: ‘From an aging researcher’s point of view, more years are added to midlife, and not so much to the utmost end of life.

‘Increased life expectancy provides us with more non-disabled years, but at the same time, the last years of life comes at higher and higher ages, increasing the need for care.’

Average age in the UK is expected to increase from 40 to 45-years-old by 2050.

Professor Rantanen said: ‘Among the ageing population, two simultaneous changes are happening: continuation of healthy years to higher ages and an increased number of very old people who need external care.’

The findings were published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Trending