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online-racial-discrimination Online Racial Discrimination Elimination

01/03/2022

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How Important Online Racial Discrimination Elimination Is For Good Reputation?

Updated on: 20/05/2022

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Racial discrimination is a common issue in the lives of the adolescents globally. In the earlier empirical research, it had been known that the majority of the minority youth perceive themselves as the victims of the racial discrimination. Thus, it is important to understand the discriminatory experiences or the Online Racial Discrimination in the various electronic formats that include the widely used social network sites.

Earlier, it was argued that the internet might play a huge role to reduce or eliminate the racial discrimination that the people of color typically experience usually in the offline settings. However, the recent theory suggests that the social media often needs the users to reveal their identities and on doing so, it can make the users susceptible to experiencing racial discrimination online

What Is Online Racial Discrimination?

Racial discrimination is the malpractice that includes treating someone differently or poorly owing to the fact that they have a different skin color. For example, if you are taking an interview of two participants where one is fair and the other one dark and you prefer fair over dark giving the job opportunity to the fair, you are actually engaging in the practice of racial discrimination. 

On the contrary, the online racial discrimination refers to the malpractice of treating others badly online through various social media websites or other means because of the skin colour or ethnic background. This kind of biasness is usually done through symbols, voice, texts, images and graphic representations. This also includes making the person feel that he has been excluded from the online space or cyberspace through unfair treatments. 

The online forms of the racial discrimination also includes something that is commonly termed as “cloaked sites”. These websites are created with an intention to spread misinformation about the culture and history of a specific racial or ethnic group. One of the very common examples of such a case is a website “martinlutherking.org” that had been created to defame Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the Civil Rights Movement, all while appearing to be a legitimate site.

Prevalence Of The Racial Discrimnination Online

Various online surveys have been carried out to discover the prevalence of the online racial discrimination in the recent past. The information that came out of the survey was quite disappointing. Each year the number of biasness in the digital space is continuously increasing and that includes people from all age groups. 

So what are the prominent types of discrimination that people have faced online? Here is a brief list.

  • People saying rude or mean things about an individual due to his/her race or ethnic group.
  • People showing an individual racist image online.
  • People discussing things that are untrue about other people in a particular race or ethnic group. 
  • People saying rude or mean things about the other person’s ethnic group online. 
  • People threatening an individual online with violence owing to the individual’s race or ethnic group. 

Categories of experiences with the discrimination that people usually face include:

  • Racial epithets.
  • Statements that were untrue, stereotyping and implicitly racist statements.
  • Racist jokes.
  • Symbols of hate, such as the Confederate flag.
  • Threats of physical harm or death.
  • Graphic representations/actual images of dead black bodies.

Some of the most common examples of such categories have been discovered to be:

"The worst thing that has happened to me on the internet is that someone threatened to kill me because of my race."

"Almost everyday on Call of Duty: Black Ops (a video game) I see Confederate flags, swastikas and black people hanging from trees in emblems and they say racist things about me and my teammates."

"The worst internet experience that I received was online scrolling down my Facebook stream and seeing a picture of an Obama doll hanging by a nuce [sic] at a gas station... I showed it to my mom and my co-workers but there was really nothing we could do about it."

"Me and my friends were playing Xbox and some kid joined the Xbox Live party we were in and made a lot of racist jokes I found offensive."

In the recent surveys of gender, age and race differences, it has been found that there have been no gender discrimination but racial discimination was prominent. In addition to this, there were age differences such that the middle youngs to adolescents perceived more direct online racial discrimination than the youth in the early adolescence. 

What Are The Contexts Of The Online Discrimination?

The contexts for the online discrimination had been examined. The most frequent contexts for these experiences had been the social networking sites such as the various text messaging services as well as Facebook. 44% of the minority youth had indicated that they had experienced online discrimination on a social networking sites at one time while it increased to 51%. About 22% of the minority youth have indicated that they had experienced online discrimination via the text messages. Other specific sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler had also been addressed. 21% of the minority youth explains that they had experienced online discrimination via YouTube and Twitter.

Online Discrimination & Mental Health

With the increased amount of time that the youths and the young adults spend online, the experiences of racial discrimination through the internet have implications for their mental helath and the various other developmental outcomes. Studies have revealed that the online racial discrimination has been associated with anxiety, depressive symptoms, increased problem behavior and lower academic motivation. Most importantly, racial discrimination online has contributed uniquely to the adjustment outcomes over and above the experiences offline. 

Another most important thing is that these findings will play potential roles in informing the design of cyberbullying prevention as well as the internet safety programs. These will also be used in the development of interventions that will aid the youth to cope with and critique the information they are exposed to in the online settings. 

How Online Racial Discrimination Hampers Celebrity Reputation?

Since everything has gone digitally with the more and more social platforms coming into play, online discrimination focussing on racism has increased globally. Celebrities have often expressed that they have been a victim of cyberbullying online owing to their race or skin color or even ethnicity. People sharing improper jokes or images and discussing them on various social media platforms has hampered their reputation. 

Often they have been defamed as their ethnicity or race or skin color was not the other people’s preference. False accusations have been spread with the spread of other misinformation. They say that social media discrimination has been quite popular and that these platforms have encouraged people to take racism on the next level and that the laws for online racial discrimination needs to be even more rigid. The law must take care of the probable harm that might flow from online space to offline or in person. The celebrities state that this is where they look for efficient celebrity reputation management

How To Mitigate Discriminations In Online Platforms?

Mitigating the online racial discrimination and the various other forms of discrimination is of utmost importance for a good online reputation. Here are some of the most effective ways to mitigate discriminations in online platforms. 

1. Measuring Discrimination On The Platforms

As of now, many platforms are unaware of the ethnic, racial or gender composition of their participants and it is challenging to address an issue if you are not measuring it. A regular report or audit on the discrimination-endangered users alongside the measures of each group’s success on the platform is a crucial step towards revealing as well as confronting any problems.

2. Building Awareness For The Potential Discrimination On The Platforms

The platforms must develop an understanding of the methods in which their choices of design and algorithms might affect the amount of discrimination. By increasing the awareness of this, the managers can also be proactive regarding the investigating and tackling the issue. It is specific to the large companies that they will be benefited to have associated with the best online reputation management (ORM) agency who will monitor their platform for the discrimination risks and thereby reduce them.

3. Withholding The Sensitive Data

In most of the cases, a simple but effective change that a platform can make is to potentially withhold various sensitive user information like gender and race.

4. Implementing Debiased Algorithms

Algorithms and automation can be a useful tool in diminishing the bias. Several platforms eliminate the step in which the hosts look at the guest’s name as well as picture and also decide whether to approve or reject the guest. You must always explore the ways to debias algorithms. It is often difficult to alter human attitudes and preferences. However, changing the inputs of an algorithm or its objectives can be more straightforward at times. 

5. Think Like A Choice Architect

Moreover, the platform can also use principles from the choice architecture in the bid to reduce discrimination. The discrimination policies can be perfect example for this. Most of the platforms bear policies that mentions prohibiting discrimination. However, they are just buried in papers or online documents and most commonly ticked off without properly reading it. Some people despite this will still violate the policies but others might be glad for the hint as they might be unaware of the problem otherwise.

6. Experiment On Reducing Online Discrimination

As soon as the platforms have a method to measure the discrimination, they can also incorporate this into their experimental testing. By incorporating such metrics, the platform can have a clearer understanding of the disparate impact of the various designs and features.

7. Be Transparent

The platforms must aim for transparency and work with the broad set of stakeholders in order to identify and resolve issues of online racial discrimination. This will aid to facilitate the discussions among the platform managers as well as the designers before it transforms into a crisis. It will also permit the progress of measures to be evaluated over time. This is specifically important given the unexpected impact of changes the platforms are making.

Key Takeaway

Online racial discrimination had adverse effects on an individual and a company. Individuals after being victimized or threatened go through severe psychological fluctuations that creates a pressure on their physical health as well. As the companies that offer their platforms such as the ecommerce platforms or the social media websites must make sure they take mitigative steps to reduce the amount of discrimination that individiuals including celebrities and other companies might face otherwise causing brand reputation of latter. 

There are a lot of companies offering various services in this regard, But you need to choose the best and effective ORM strategies that one of the top online reputation management companies can offer. The expertise and timely followup is worth commendable.


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