Dark shadows, Clay Shirky on politics of infographics and software interfaces. “The Washington Post has produced a white-people map of murder. Homicide Watch has produced a brown-people map.” Yes.
The Post’s default view is a map. Homicide Watch’s default view is a face. The Post’s view is aggregate and historical; Homicide Watch’s is personal and recent. The Post focuses on murders, Homicide Watch on victims. The Post gives you all the murders; you have to zoom in for the details. Homicide Watch starts with the most recent events; you have to zoom out for the bigger picture. The most recent murder the Post puts on its map was in December of 2011. As I write this, the most recent murder Homicide Watch put on its map was last night—Howard Venable Jr., stabbed to death at Fuller and 16th NW.
The Post’s map is about neighborhoods and patterns. (When I showed the Post’s map to my journalism students and asked whom they thought the ideal audience was, they said, “Realtors.”) Homicide Watch’s map is about people and events. The Post’s map tells you things like, “Stay the hell away from Anacostia.” HW tells you that Venable was 68 years old, and gives you a tip line for the cops, if you have any idea who killed him.
Not to put too fine a point on it, The Washington Post has produced a white-people map of murder, a map that assumes you couldn’t possibly know the victim. Homicide Watch has produced a brown-people map—a map that assumes you might, a map for a city where brown people are 30 times more likely to be murdered than white people.
Latanya Sweeney’s name produces a different view than yours. Another example of how a “passive” or “neutral” algorithm will reflect racism and other biases from its context. Nice to see a response to this situation that asks how algorithms can reflect better politics, rather than asking how people can be more forgiving of the programmers who didn’t think about this.
Professor Latanya Sweeney found that searching “Black-identifying” names like hers resulted in Google.com and Reuters.com generating ads “suggestive of an arrest in 81 to 86 per cent of name searches on one website and 92 to 95 per cent on the other.” This means that when Professor Latanya Sweeney (who has no criminal record) googles herself, or when anyone googles her, one of the top results is “Latanya Sweeney: Arrested?” According to the study, when we google the names of Black-identifing names, we’re very likely to see the words “criminal record” or “arrest.” That view sucks! And it only serves to edify negative stereotypes, which potentially limit people with “Black” names from accessing equal means of sustenance and amenities. Meanwhile, googling a white-identifying name produces “neutral” content. (The ads that come up when I google my own name offer viewers private information for a fee.)
And it is how this digital view is shaped that is most disturbing: Google assures that there is no racial bias in the algorithms they use to position ads. Rather, the algorithms “learn over time” which ads are selected most frequently and then they display those. The algorithms are simply reflecting the dominant values of our time, but demonstrating them to each of us differently, depending on our own particularities, and from what is know from our individual and collective clicks: these algorithms cannot result in a more panoramic view. So, thank you to Latanya Sweeney for rubbing the fog off of my view, for now at least. Otherwise, because of my race, and my name, I may not have seen the racist outcomes these algorithms are producing.
Now hiring: Oddfellow hit teams? – the crown, sword and crook – 'We are God types' – organized horror – system bent beyond repair. Citations needed– I am trying to find out when the Independent Order of Odd Fellows stopped being racially segregated.
This is new to me but would not surprise me:
The reasons for the split from the English parent(s) are by no means clear. It is possible that it was provoked by the 1843 chartering of a black lodge, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, under the jurisdiction of the old United or Union Order of Odd Fellows in England.
And this is similar to things I have read elsewhere, but never with a concrete citation or reference:
The Odd Fellows propagate that all human beings, regardless of race, skin-color or position is society are brothers and sisters. In the past this was different. Until the mid-sixties of the 20th century, only white people could join the I.O.O.F. This was common use for societies in the United States, but orders outside the U.S., including the Netherlands adopted this policy. It has to be noted that the Dutch order had a compensation for the admission of members with an East-Indies background, due to the colonial history [Dutch East India Company].
In the late fifties discussions about this ‘full white blood clause’ arose in the Netherlands. This case was also investigated by Dutch police and justice department. The Dutch order, together with some European orders brought this clause up for discussion. The Sovereign Grand Lodge abandoned this clause some years later officially, also due to the changed attitude towards racial segregation in the U.S.
Not just in the I.O.O.F. regulations was a racist tendency, also in one of the rituals. In an older version of the ritual of the second Encampment degree, the black race was typed as: "in general they are barbarians and monsters in the practice of the most dire rapine". According to the Dutch Grand Secretary this ritual is no longer in use, but words as ‘wilds’ and ‘heathens’, in combination with the black race are still common in the American rituals. These words should be used in a different perspective.
Anti-native racism common in Toronto health care – thestar.com
Includes a list of examples where stereotypes led to physical harm, lack of medical treatment, etc.
The White Market – The New Inquiry
“Meanwhile, screenwriters (clever advertisers in their own right) have found that the easiest way to hook viewers on drug-dealer protagonists is to sell crack as small-batch artisanal rock cocaine.”