Blog Post #7

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Blog Post #7
“The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed”

As I’m reading the article I’m thinking “shit, there’s someone who dedicates their life to seeing and removing all the nasty shit that’s out there on the internet.” The reason why I reacted that way is because sometimes we forget how terrible human beings can be and how corrupt they can be to attain power and money. So we sit in our own little bubble and post on our own little virtual world without a worry in our lives because there is people somewhere in the world doing our dirty work, yeah that’s right the world does not revolve around you America…or does it?

Content moderation what does it really mean and what does it have to do with colonialism? Why do these crowdsourcing employees have to sign none disclosure contracts? Difference between active moderation and content moderation: content moderation is typically content that has been flagged whereas active moderation is happening real time. It seems like the article was addressing crowdsourcing but in reality it is addressing colonialism. This ties in with colonialism, in the fact that we are exploiting workers from the Philippines for our own benefit. The Philippines also used to have ties to the US when they were a part of our colony. Baybayan looks for specific content such as “hunting for: pornography, gore, minors, sexual solicitation, sexual body parts/images, racism.” What happens when someone can’t detect that same kind of content as an American could? Well simple, “US-based moderators are much better compensated than their overseas counterparts: A brand-new American moderator for a large tech company in the US can make more in an hour than a veteran Filipino moderator makes in a day,”

How can this complicate the things we talked about in class? We talked about how the price to make things domestically is not the problem the problem is how fast the product is being made. This gets me to think that it is an American thing to be impatient and the idea that time is money. I honestly believed this for the longest time because growing up in a monochronic society it is the only way to survive. However I learned the hard way that it is not the only way to get things done, not to say that being monochronic isn’t cool, what I am saying is that this is part of our issue. For example when we were rushing to be the first people on the moon, there is always this competition to become the first this first that, and this is what we hold valuable as a country. There are other countries who still hold other stuff valuable such as social interaction, making time to stop and say hello to a friend is more important than getting back to teaching a class. Something I enjoyed during my travel time in Costa Rica. They don’t care much for the fancy technology, not to say they don’t like or enjoy it but their consumption is no where near as important as it is for us here in the US. For us it has become a survival need and sadly we will exploit anyone to maintain it.

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Blog Post #6

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Chapter 6
“Matrix Multiplication and the Digital Divide.”

After reading this week’s chapter I couldn’t help but relate the reading to Hairspray so I will be connecting the reading to a more political consumerism that is online. I know this seems kind of off topic but just like Byrne notes “BlackPlanet is black-targeted but not a black owned enterprise,”(135) in Hairspray the conversation was more surrounded television and not the internet and it was during a different time. If I am recalling the movie correctly there was a segment that was dedicated and targeted to the black community but it was clear that they did not have full control over the time they went on nor complete freedom. The relation I’m trying to make here is that just like Byrne notes that the civic engagement was limited I would even say low, in the movie the segment that the black people had was limited and never political. I have to say that the connection between both was that it was owned and filtered by someone else never allowing for true political action or freedom but always targeted at black people. The content they were/are receiving is coming from a monitored place.

Getting more into the nitty gritty of the question and discussion of cumulative disadvantage and Nakamura’s idea that African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics generally participate in activities coded as fun (139). It is true that most students of color more specifically college students know that online identity is important. They know that employers may look into your social media that the way you portray yourself online defines who you are in real life. However we are somewhat unconcerned and the “fun” activities we engage in online outshine the more activist engagements we may believe in in real life. This is then ties in to the idea of cumulative disadvantage because our online identity allows for marketers to target us with “fun” things and we receive less than the highest standard or quality of information targeted to us online. For example I could do a search on Egypt and I could have my politically invested white male friend do a search on Egypt and they will be completely different. Some of the reasons may include the types of cookies that we have and separate searches we make however I can argue that even that in itself is a form of cumulative disadvantage.

I think that this is a form of disadvantages because in my search of Egypt I can get information about their culture and maybe some funny memes because that is something I am interested an that is what my typical searches are. Then my imaginary friend in his search receives nice hotels to stay in and the current news. We become blind to the things that are marketed to us as people of color based on the online identity we have that we fall into conformity and at times fall into traps. If we cannot move out of the core issue which is social inequality we will never break the cycle. Social inequality is being produced today on the Web 2.0 and it is being maintained by the marketing strategies from social identities. Going back to my first comment about Hairspray we can see that this social inequality has continued to be transmitted from one generation to another because, the same idea of targeted television but not allowing the political aspect has moved to a limited form of activist on online sites that are targeted to people of color.

Blog Post #5

Read Chapter 5
“Does the Whatever Speak?”

Galloway’s ” Does the Whatever Speak?,” talks about race as a simulation. According to his argument he says, “racial coding has not gone away in recent years, it has only migrated into the realm of dress rehearsal, the realm of pure simulation it remains absolutely necessary”(113). Whether race is explicit or not in real life it is not the same case in the virtual world. I think the virtual world has become the new form of expressing racist thoughts, like Galloway says race has migrated to the virtual world. I think the reason this is the case is because there’s the excuse that it is just a game or simple stimulation. Furthermore “on the internet no one knows your identity” (124), but it is the opposite your identity is pretty clear and this “whatever” that Galloway talks about serves as an oppressor of identities and race.

He also makes another point, he says, “the virtual can only be possible, not in relation to the real, but in relation to the absolute.” Meaning that the concept of being revolves around racism not whether it is happening in real life or the virtual world. Once again we find ourselves stimulated in a game and wrapped around gold farming. For example the game designers talking about classes and races. Something I didn’t give any thought to before this chapter. I went and did some research and found some article that talks about a game that is Anti-American. What I found the most interesting is that according to this article or at least the comments that were left about the game was that game companies are owned by Jews even though the designers are white males. White males who apparently make the game look pretty for marketing purposed but the Jews control the content which then leads to these racist ideologies. I thought it was interesting because although Galloway uses World craft as one of his examples and how they use a narrator with a Jamaican accent I never thought that classes and races could go beyond the virtual stimulation and more into the real world where the stimulation is being controlled.

Anti-American Game Article

Racists call BioShock Infinite a white-killing simulator

To further connect this concept of racial coding migrating to the realm of the virtual world I have to say that our major is a perfect example of it. We might not necessarily be the ones controlling this new racial coding but we are a big part of it. It is designers whether they are game designers or graphic designers that contribute by helping the higher ups with the money create these new racial codes. For example maybe the Steve Jobs didn’t design the emojis but he told someone to design them. Maybe the person who was designing them did not stop and think about creating ten different skin tones but as a designer he couldn’t stop and tell Steve Jobs, “hey buddy what about being racially inclusive.” However we sit in class and discuss “culture” something I ironically didn’t think I would be studying even though it is in the title of our major. Why? Well simple I like many people didn’t think that technology had race involved ignoring this whatever that Galloway talks about.

Blog Post #4

'This 'wheel' thing of yours - does it have to be round or will any shape do?'

‘This ‘wheel’ thing of yours – does it have to be round or will any shape do?’

Read Chapter 3
From Black Inventors to One Laptop Per Child

Rayvon Fouche examines race and technology in chapter 3 by using four different eras. His first era being the technologies of production and dominant communities controlling meanings of race in the U.S. Era number two was the development of early electrical devices and early computing. Era number three being the first digital technologies and the supposed end of racial discrimination, racism becoming harder to see as devices become smaller. The fourth ear the nostalgia of in-need others to be saved(62). The fourth era being the we have been asked to focus in. Like Fouche says this era allows for the sorting of the changing dynamics of race in what scholars are calling a new “multicultural” century (63).

These new changes in this new so called multicultural community, there has been as much advancement such as the 44th president being black, that it has left the dominant cultural community with a sense or nostalgia to help other cultures. The United States becomes this too cultural and racially risky (80) location for technology studies. The first two eras still allowed for the dominant communities to categorize and classify people into categories and oppression. Changing these dynamics leaves room for an opportunity to be the savior once again but to assume that an American technology is saving their culture is repeating history all over again. It’s like imposing religion on Native Americans, but now we are doing it with technology.

Let’s take for example the founder of One Laptop Per Child, we have a privileged male who feel the need to save the children with a computer. Here’s a prime example of an ethnocentric act imposed onto another culture in which culture is “seemingly meaningless” (80). For this man to assume that these communities need technology in order to develop sets us back as a country again by hundreds of years. We go back past the first era to the colonial years where we dominated the “savages.” Like we talked about in class the founder of One Laptop Per Child didn’t think about the labor that goes intro getting the supplies to make these laptops. How they connect directly to the physical impediments that some kids from these countries suffer due to attaining these supplies. All the laptops that didn’t work and the earth having to deal with this tech that will be lying around without purpose.

Technology is a man made concept, we can go back to the Black Inventor and still it is a man made concept. If we have technology that will allow for advancement then why not use and share it? However I think that we sometimes impose these new technologies on people making them believe that they need this new technology in their everyday life to help them advance in their life to be successful. For example is having 230+ contacts on a mobile cellular phone more useful than having ten memorized phone numbers? I know that if I go to jail right now I could not recite a single phone number to be my one phone call. I also cannot depend on old technologies like reading a map or take directions because I have this “new great” technology that Siri is that will tell me exactly how to get to my designated location.

Blog Post #3

Chapters 1, 3, & 4
Lakoff and Johnson

metaphor-simile

After doing the readings for this blog post my head started to hurt because I felt a little mind blown. Like I know that we basically live a world full of metaphors and similes because what better way to express how you feel than through a metaphor or simile that someone else will also understand? The thing is that when it becomes a part of your human behavior you don’t think about it too much. This leads me to conclude that this is the reason why readings can be so difficult to understand because I am not taking the time to make connections between the conduit metaphors and what the writer is trying to say in-explicitly.

Thus far we have talked about digital space and its neutrality and race within technological organizations. The way we can connect Lakoff and Johnson’s ideas about metaphor to help us unpack the course material we have talked about would be through the idea that the digital world began during a time that a lot of the big historical cultural events were happening. This allowed for a sense of internet or digital “norms” to be based off of the culture and gender divide. Just like metaphors came from real life experiences but have been passed down from generations that we have lost sight of were they came from and we accepted them as norms. Like Lakoff and Johnson said it becomes hard to see the hidden message in the metaphor or even the metaphor for that reason. Before this class I hadn’t even thought about the technological organizations and who formed them and when they were formed. Allowing me not to process my own informed conscious thoughts and point of view only ever looking out of the lenses they created.

I also wanted to connect this idea of conduit metaphors which is language functions like a conduit, transferring thoughts bodily from one person to another in writing and speaking, people insert their thoughts or feelings in the words. This reminded me of something I saw on one of my SNS’s timeline today. I noticed some women are starting to use the word or perhaps spell the word “womyn” instead of “women/woman.” I’m not sure if this is old news and I’m behind but I asked my friend if she knew why women were spelling womyn this way. Turns out feminist feel that having the word “man” in the word “woman” makes women a subset of men.

I think this ties in to the idea of conduit metaphors because no one was questioning were the word women/woman came from and why the word men/man was in it. It is just in our vocabulary but then a group of women decided to use language in a form that would transfer thoughts from one person to another empowering women all over the world so to say. There might not be a full on metaphor hidden behind this connection I made but I think the concept connects.

Blog Post #2

Chapter 1
U.S. Operating at Mid-Century

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I wasn’t sure how to begin this second post if I didn’t understand what these racial formations where and the organizations of social relations. I did a little google search and found that racial formations is “an analytical tool in sociology, developed by Michael Omi and Howard Winan which is used to look at race as a socially constructed identity.” This then connects with the idea of organizing principles which can be summed up to a central reference point that allows all other to be located. After my google search I came to the conclusion that to say that racial formations do not form fundamental organizing principles of social relations in the United States would be like saying that slavery did not exist.

Now lets look at what McPherson who cites Omi and Winant’s argument but before she does, she states that, “certain modes of racial visibility and knowing coincide or dovetail with specific ways of organizing data: if digital computing underwrites today’s information economy and is the central technology of post-World War II America, these technologized ways of seeing/knowing took shape in a world also struggling with shifting knowledges about and representations of race” (24). So how can we talk about this in a micro and macro level.

“How might we understand the infusion of racial organizing principles into the technological organization of knowledge after World War II?” To begin with, the beginning of the digital world began with during the time that there was a lot of cultural historical moments that out shined the technological organizations being formed. Organizations that were in a macro level predominantly white males already leaving behind, in these technological advances, women and people of color. In a more micro level we could discuss the few people who were of color or women who were involved but only had certain tasks. Today post World War II we can talk about racial issues within digital space or technological organization of knowledge having its roots in race. Having at the center knowledge that they have and that others do not have and then distributing it the way they want to allowing for things to fall into place to their advantage. This leads to the idea that the activist does not know how to code because there is a knowledge gap between those who can code but don’t care about race issues.

In page 35 they talk about our need for to get out of our small field-based boxes and normalize what we study. This reminds me of WSU in a the sense that a lot of the engineering programs being white male dominated. Which then we can go back to the idea of a macro level, because it is white males who lead the engineering industry, they are the ones making big decisions and acquiring managerial knowledge that people of color do not have. This goes back to the knowledge gap in the 60’s between the racial issues and technological organizations being formed.

Blog Post #1

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Introduction— Race and Digital Technology

The introduction to Race after the Internet by Nakamura and Chow-White challenges the idea that digital technology provides a neutral space for racial equality. For my post I will be focusing on the idea of news media and the persistent problem of exclusion of people of color through the racist immigration legislation seen in recent years, more specifically during President Obama’s term.

Nakamura and Chow-White say that “no matter how ‘digital’ we become, the continuing problem of social inequality along racial persists.” This challenges the idea that the digital world is a neutral place because not only is this technology another form of “white privilege” or privilege in general because it contains knowledge that is not accessible to minorities of color but it becomes a race itself. A race in which we learn from and a race we adopt due to popularity and mainstream pop culture.

For example the example that Nakamura and Chow-White use about President Obama and Henry Louis Gates sitting down with his arresting officer to talk about racial profiling over some beer shows how it has become easy to hide behind a keyboard and an unanimous avatar rather than to talk about race in a face to face setting. People are afraid or maybe ashamed to put their name to the comments and thoughts they have towards the topic of race.

Nakamura and Chow-White make a reference to Watkin’s, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (2009). In this Watkins says that “youth of color are rapidly adopting digital media technologies such as cellphones and games as part of their everyday lives, and in some cases use them more frequently than their white peers.” I’m not sure if this was meant to be seen in a bad light or a positive note but one could ask why they are constantly on their SNS’s. Today that is the number one source for youth to be informed on current hot topics such as politics and racists incidents involving anyone from police officers to a mother on the PTA group.

Article explaining SMS’s as a source of news information 

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/04/facebook-is-a-news-source-for-many-but-only-incidentally/

The idea of a panoptic Web can be very blurry especially when almost anything on the Web can be manipulated. Wilson and Costanza-Chock said that, “the authors survey the persistent problem of exclusion of people of color from the news media both as newsmakers and as owners of media companies.” Take for example this fully white newscast on a South side incident in which a young black four year old boy according to them says something that was “scary indeed,” when in reality the little boy said he wanted to be a cop. It makes you wonder why a white cast would take a black boy’s words out of context when they are supposed to be reporting facts not reinforcing more stereotypical fears in their viewers.

The link to the video that was used in newscast report:
http://gawker.com/5826178/tv-station-makes-little-law-abiding-boy-sound-thuggish

The Link to the actual video:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/local-news-station-apologizes-for-misrepresenting-child-as-future-criminal/

Having President Obama become our first black president and our first digital Commander in Chief not only opened up the door for hope in racial equality but it also opened up the closet door for an unnatural digital space in which race is a very controversial hot topic. It seems today that no one is holding back anymore and is more and more speaking their mind. Yeah we’ve always had those anonymous users but now people seem to not be afraid to put an actual face to nasty ignorant racial remarks.

Ann Coulter Intro to Donald Trump

President Obama talks Donald Trump