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Tech is Racist

Tech is Racist

17.04.2012

Yep. Sorry about that Sergey, Mark, Larry, Steve, Bill and all the other white men who invented this thing. The greatest tool humankind has ever known, and all the gadgets we use to access it, are total bigots and you should punch them in the nose right now. Don’t believe us, well the good people at Online IT Degree have taken the time to prove it, with this nifty little demonstration.

Tech is Racist
Created by: OnlineITDegree.net

3   11
RESPONSES (42)
  1. cnut says:

    From a black man who owns RSA’s most successful BEE score SEO/SMO company with a branch in Australia… what a load of shite the above is!

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  2. Beleza says:

    Fuck, Mahala is getting desperate now.

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  3. @cnut says:

    Bear in mind please, that you are only one example, and that by yourself, you don’t contradict demographic trends. Thanks.

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  4. Bass_Player says:

    They tooooook our jewwwwwwbs!

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  5. desperate says:

    rice is racist. because most of the people that eat it are asian
    bws are racist, because most of the people that drive them are white
    chicken licken is racist, because most of the people that eat it are black
    kimonos are racist, because most people who wear them are japanese
    boerewors is homophobic and sexist because it is mostly eaten by straight males

    no wonder there isnt an author credit. i would also be embarassed.

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  6. ps says:

    #andydavispretendingtobeblack

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  7. bob says:

    fuck me this is the most retarded thing ive ever read! my mind is blown…its like saying 100m sprinting is racist cause black do it better…fuck you guys are pathetic 🙁

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  8. Daniel says:

    Yea this is a retarded infographic – good example of how to twist info to prove a point rather than objectively analysing the data.

    BTW – the internet can not be racist ever and asking that question is just dumb to begin with. Its like saying Apple is racist because the majority of people who own a Mac are white even though ANYONE can purchase a Mac if they can afford it. Same thing with the internet – ANYONE can get online but only if they have access and the means to do so… this also begins to reveal why there are so few black people employed in tech companies – its not because these companies don’t want to employ black people its just there are very few employable people who have the skill sets needed… all we need it education and a little bit of time.

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  9. dudie says:

    this must be a joke, right?

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  10. mud-debunker says:

    What an absolute load of irrational, illogical dross. Pretty pictures though

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  11. Roger says:

    Your comments don’t count white people. Sit still.

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  12. brandon edmonds says:

    this should really be the last post ever on this website. it sums up the whole mahala experience exquisitely.

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  13. Oliver says:

    I suppose the wheel is also racist as you could only find it among white people. That is until the crime of colonialisation kicked in.

    Why didn’t the internet start here by the way? Why couldn’t Africans start their own one? And why (as noted in The Capitalist Nigger) has this continent contributed nothing to human innovation?

    Tech is not taken from black people. Black people are just not taking part.

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  14. brandon edmonds says:

    shut the fuck up oliver.

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  15. Oliver says:

    Offensive? I think those are questionable statements but have been argued and you can actually find them in history books. I still like them, they make an interesting point. What it says about geography and race is a different issue. To mix the two is messing around with logic. But that never seems to stop you lot here at Mahala.

    Racism can result in a distortion of race representation. That means that race representation in an industry will not reflect the racial make up of the population. That logic does however not hold in reverse. That is to say, if the representation in the industry is does not reflect the make up of the country, that things are therefore racist. Other things can distort it.

    Is racism really the only reason for this phenomenon in IT? Really?

    The truth is that this race thing is such a hot political potato that no one feels like holding it. But I’m tired of this racist rubbish. It somehow ok to say white people are racist and divisive but to even say black hair is different is a hate crime. Every time a black guy spots some collection of white people they call racism. How about white people just like IT? That’s not racist. That’s just geeky. But that makes for lame info graphics.

    You guys should help Julius write his speeches. He needs all the help he can get in pointing out racism and demonizing white people. I think he calls it nation building.

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  16. Dr R Tate says:

    Just want to point out “Hispanic” can be any “race”. So those figures are shite!

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  17. Roger Young says:

    Oliver, you came really late to this party, all the people with the brains to argue with you are exhausted or have moved on.

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  18. bob says:

    olvier is the only one here who has balls…the only one…and who is speaking any sense

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  19. Norus says:

    Oliver, you’re a retard. Your comments are old, tired, and exhausting to read. If you want to make controversial statements, and show how much balls you have, come up with your own arguments and refrain from paraphrasing others.

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  20. sad says:

    nice change of headline and intro. NOT.

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  21. Rol says:

    Hilarity ensues. Roger, a white person, tells us that white people’s comments don’t count. On that logic, then, I’m happy to assume that this applies to his comments.

    Then Brandon goes on to back Roger up with a Leaping High 5, thus including himself in the irrelevancies too. (then responds to Oliver’s intelligent, measured response with an all-lower-case ‘shut the fuck up’. Articulate, reasoned, cutting – classic Edmonds. THAT sums up the Mahala experience. A far-left circle-jerk of self-hating sycophants).

    I’m with Oliver here – the world is not an even playing field, if one considers any one of hundreds of examples. Technology, maybe, is not geared towards those without the means to access it. Poor people have low access to technology. Here, at least, poor people are often black. QED technology is race-biased?
    I’m glad to know that my comments are irrelevant, though, otherwise I’d have given my comment more consideration.

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  22. Andy says:

    it’s called data-journalism numbnuts… you look at the numbers and extrapolate a meaning. The great thing is, no one can actually argue with the stats. It’s how we all spin the meaning.

    In the tech world black people are radically under-represented… why?

    Look at the numbers and let’s argue about the meaning.

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  23. Daniel says:

    @Andy

    “it’s called data-journalism numbnuts… you look at the numbers and extrapolate a meaning. The great thing is, no one can actually argue with the stats. It’s how we all spin the meaning.”

    Agreed – unfortunately you are the one who placed the meaning (ok to be fair you were only following in the footsteps of the infographic creators) on this by posting this with the title “Tech is Racist” and adding the little blurb.

    No one is arguing about the numbers (not one person if you re read the comments) what we are taking issue with is that you are doing exactly the opposite of what you said we should do in your comment above – you have twisted data to prove your point without actually objectively looking at the data.

    This would have been a far more useful, insightful and considerate piece had you actually discussed the meaning of the data rather than try and impose an impossible and stupid meaning on it…

    Like you said what this data actually does is ask the question – “In the tech world black people are radically under-represented… why?” If you read the comments above a few people have begun to scrape the surface of the answer to this question (access, education, opportunity & interest)

    So my question is why did you not ask that question in the article and try and come up with an answer? Instead you rather chose to post this infographic and push its meaning of the data on us – a meaning which we have all pointed out is completely retarded and does not help anyone at all.

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  24. Tumi Molekane says:

    And the Winner is Daniel.

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  25. cnut says:

    Daniel it’s been obvious for Mahala-high-5-brigade eons now… Douche-bag Davis is desperate for hits… and the only way he’s resigned himself to trying to get them… it bring any racial angle into any story…

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  26. mud-debunker says:

    Andy you’re a better journalist than statistician. You can arguwe with the stats if they are badly constructed and framed in a non-scientific way.

    You are encouraging us to draw specific inferences from the data you have presented but as an exercise in statistical reasoning, the infographic above is hugely flawed.

    Focusing on the general argument, it makes the proposition that tech per se is racist but provides no control for verification of this hypothesis. Specifically at least two alternative control scenarios are untested or mentioned:

    1. What exactly is the definition of racism for the purposes of statistical reasoning? From the graphic it seems that we should infer that racism is to mean relative underrepresentation for black people in the IT population versus representation in the general population. Is that racist per se? Does underrepresentation of white people in the professional basketball playing population versus the general population mean that professional basketball is racist? Probably not – there are other non-racist factors at play. The implied definition of racism is undefined and untested, which means that measures against it are meaningless

    2. Even if we accept that representation is a valid basis for assessing racism, there is a second more damning statistical omission. It is also possible (and if i had to guess likely) that blacks are underrepresented across all professional employment classes. This may go a long way towards explaining why they are underrepresented in tech. If that hypothesis proved true it would be a starting point for a debate on general racism in the workplace but it would specifically disprove the argument in relation to the tech sector alone.

    To be clear, first the statistics actually have to make an argument before you can say anything about the quality of that argument.

    In this case they dont and more of the argument is built on whats omitted than whats included. In this case data-journalism is the same as bad journalism.

    Worse still is that statistics in the social sciences are most dangerous when we use them to frame our behaviour. If we believe in the mean (average) and treat individuals as if they are more likely than not to represent the mean in terms of traits and behaviours, there is a risk that we actually perpetuate the mean – expectations can become reality through a self-fulfilling process e.g. if the stats show that whites are more likley than blacks to be criminals, we may choose to employ fewer whites, which in turn reduces white incomes, which may lead to relatively more criminality amongst whites and so on in a self-fulfilling process

    We all lose if we choose not to argue with the numbers

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  27. Daniel says:

    @Tumi Molekane – you are too kind sir.

    I think mud-debunker actually wins this one!

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  28. Andy says:

    I think many are getting caught up in semantics. The facts remain that black people are under-represented in tech and on the web – as the infographic clearly illustrates. What these stats are tapping into probably relates more closely to the 400 years of conquest, colonialism, inequality, slavery, etc. being played out in our lifetime right now. The world is radically unequal, and tech companies, the IT world and the internet etc. just mirror that inequality. They don’t necessarily fix it.

    Is tech racist? Not in the “personal”, vengeful, stupid, simplistic, obfuscating way SA politicians use the term – which I think is where a lot you got stuck on this piece – it’s the whole damn system that’s skewed towards those who find themselves with power, privilege and most NB money – and willfully ignores and excludes those who don’t… alas melanin remains a major differentiator between these groups. Alas.

    *And while cnut continues to play the man… (what is wrong with you sir? You treat the internet like a vacuum where you get to exercise your base desires. Are you as brave to insult strangers in the real world?) The whole point of posting this piece, with the leading intro et al, was to spark this kind of debate… thanks for participating.

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  29. Dazbox says:

    First of all, this title is bogus. “The internet is racist”

    Do you uneducated troglodytes even understand what the internet is? Its open-source, its a network, its a community, its a world running through integrated optics. Stop trying to personify a concept. By definition alone, the internet cannot be racist. Let’s just be honest with ourselves about that. Would you call a car racist because the people who were qualified and experienced enough to build it happened to be white? Absolute retardation. You have succesfully managed to discredit this entire Mahala organisation. Way to fuck up a good thing guys! I guess education alone doesnt make you a writer.

    Don’t blame the internet for non-white people not making up the workforce. You are insulting every single non-white who has worked their arse off to get into a good position. If a demographic is unsattisfied with its presence in a particular industry, they should get off their asses and do something about it… and this is happening everywhere! We’re living in a capitalist world, in any corporate community, you get what you work for. Full Stop. More often than not, being a minority will give you an advantage that white workforce doesnt have. Any half-competent anthropology student will tell you that their could be any number of reasons for the race phenomenons within the tech industry.

    You call technology racist because computer facial recognician identified a white person but not the black person sitting next to them. Incase you hadnt noticed, black people have a darker skin tone. Computer software holds no personality, its only a matter of proper lighting and varying tonal pigmentation. I am a photographer, and in many scenes black people are more difficult to focus on, purely because their skin is a less reflective service and needs to be compensated for. You dont see me calling photography racist now do you?

    As far as calling iphone apps racist and then extrapolating that over the ENTIRE INTERNET, this doesnt even deserve comment. Seriously guys, this is clutching at straws. If I was the university that taught you that logic, I would discredit my entire freethinking institution myself.

    A round of applause for Mahala for setting all progress in human logic and critical reasoning back about 30 years.

    SHOCKING.

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  30. Andy says:

    Thanks Dazbox, let me just stop you right there… because just as the internet – an inanimate object – cannot be racist, neither can you punch it, nor the gadgets you use to access it, in the nose…

    That should have been a clue that we are talking figuratively here. Using personification to help unpack a larger theme…

    I don’t really have the inclination to engage with your historical amnesia and Ayn Rand-inspired take on capitalistic equality.

    What is really interesting to me is the knee-jerk reaction to the term: “internet is racist” from (I’m just guessing here) sensitive white people in IT who feel that this is somehow an attack on them.

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  31. aMandla says:

    this shit belongs in the daily Sun

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  32. Lefty says:

    Mahala Debates in a nut shell:

    Person A says something ridiculous, poorly thought out and controversial.

    Person B rebuts and pointing out why it is ridiculous, poorly thought out and controversial.

    Person A claims that sparking debate is the goal, justifying saying ridiculous, poorly thought out and controversial things. Also claims that person B is a whiny, white person.

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  33. ted says:

    As a dark-skinned black male, the only part I found (mildly) offensive was the fact that face tracking technology can’t function for those with a darker complexion. Now I just find it funny. Otherwise I wholly agree with @Daniel’s comment.

    Also, If a narrow minded black person were to have read this poster , wouldn’t they now feel obliged NOT use any technology because it’s “racist”?

    I’m sure whoever made this poster, or whatever it is, was just trolling.

    And probably hates blacks.

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