Saturday, May 29, 2010

Race by Any Other Name

During time for networking, one of the more interesting conversations that I had at the Gov 2.0 Expo was with Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sistas. Mitchell described her work as a social media consultant and trainer specializing in issues involving women and people of color as target groups. She agreed with Craig Watkins that black technology users are often early adopters who are poorly understood by firm believers in antiquated notions of the digital divide that necessarily imagine urban youth as needing technical education. But she also described how insulting she thought Facebook was in claiming that it could get demographic statistics about race despite not having a data gathering checkbox by assuming that an index of common surnames of African-Americans would tell the story.

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