Racism and Internet Marketing

by vip-ip
30 replies
People from all around the world can engage in Internet marketing. Yesterday, I attended a speech by Tim Wise who is an expert and a published author. His area of specialty is racism in America. It made me realize that as a foreigner, I am familiar with setbacks due to cultural and linguistic barriers. I've already overcome those. However, there has got to be a racist problem in the IM world, and I would imagine that people would want to avoid going on record to talk about it. In Wise's own words, the act of denying the problem can come off as 'hiding thoughts,' i.e., suppressed racism. I am wondering if any Warriors will go on record and make their opinion be heard.

Best Regards,
Vas Blagodarskiy...
#internet #marketing #racism #tim wise
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    I'll go on record.


    But again, this is what I see. I've only been online for 2 years, so I may be completely off and only subjected to my biased belief of what I've seen online.
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    • Profile picture of the author kayshaw
      I agree with the majority of the points that Justin made in his video. However, I do see a lot of prejudice (Not racism, racism is discrimination based SOLELY on the color of skin whereas prejudice is discrimination against a people group) in certain areas on the internet. The largest people group discriminated against are non-English speakers.

      For example, I am primarily a freelance writer and I frequent some of the bidding sites to get extra work. Almost every job proposal you see says "Native English Speaker" or "English as first language only." Why? Because the English language is one of THE HARDEST (top5) languages to learn because there are all these strange tenses, superlatives, verb conjugations, etc. that frankly don't make any sense.

      However, clients are forced to discriminate because they need content that is written in high quality English. It just doesn't work to hire someone that does not speak English as their first language because you have to spend the next few days (or weeks) rewriting it. You just flushed your money down the toilet.

      To make matters even more confusing is that a lot of the writers on bidding sites "fake" their samples and then they give you shoddy work after they have been awarded the project.

      Its sad that this is the state we are in (only catering to English speakers and/or forcing people to become English speakers) but there you go. The truth isn't pretty and I'm not really sure how to remedy that issue.

      Frith,
      Kayla
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        The "Net" has done what no other entity has done in relation to racism. The Internet refused to tolerate racism from the start. That helped to drive it underground, not necessarily eliminate it though.

        Now racist have to speak in code, symbolism and innuendos.

        Trust me, if racist still exist in society, there's racist on the Internet. They're just harder to identify or even worry about.
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        • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
          Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

          The "Net" has done what no other entity has done in relation to racism. The Internet refused to tolerate racism from he start. That helped to drive it underground, not necessarily eliminate it though.

          Now racist have to speak in code, symbolism and innuendos.

          Trust me, if racist still exist in society, there's racist on the Internet. They're just harder to identify or even worry about.
          Exactly

          And they get bashed really quick if they are social about it. Which is what I was trying to point out.

          If a racist is on YouTube, Facebook, or any other site, there is retaliation.
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      • Profile picture of the author Madam X
        Kayshaw,

        I agree with Vip-ip, that speaking (and writing English) is just a skill - it wouldn't qualify as being discriminatory. For example, I am really bad at coding. I wouldn't expect anyone to hire me to write code.

        One of the reasons that one would want a website written in good English is because of Google. So, if you blame anyone for that, blame the SERPS.

        You're very pretty & you WOULD get hired to do videos - even if your English is not so great. in fact, I find accents adorable. So, an accent & not speaking so-called 'proper English' - would be an asset in a video. (At least in my opinion.)

        Bestest,
        Madam X


        Originally Posted by kayshaw View Post

        I agree with the majority of the points that Justin made in his video. However, I do see a lot of prejudice (Not racism, racism is discrimination based SOLELY on the color of skin whereas prejudice is discrimination against a people group) in certain areas on the internet. The largest people group discriminated against are non-English speakers.

        For example, I am primarily a freelance writer and I frequent some of the bidding sites to get extra work. Almost every job proposal you see says "Native English Speaker" or "English as first language only." Why? Because the English language is one of THE HARDEST (top5) languages to learn because there are all these strange tenses, superlatives, verb conjugations, etc. that frankly don't make any sense.

        However, clients are forced to discriminate because they need content that is written in high quality English. It just doesn't work to hire someone that does not speak English as their first language because you have to spend the next few days (or weeks) rewriting it. You just flushed your money down the toilet.

        To make matters even more confusing is that a lot of the writers on bidding sites "fake" their samples and then they give you shoddy work after they have been awarded the project.

        Its sad that this is the state we are in (only catering to English speakers and/or forcing people to become English speakers) but there you go. The truth isn't pretty and I'm not really sure how to remedy that issue.

        Frith,
        Kayla
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        • Profile picture of the author kayshaw
          Hello Madam X,
          You all are very right. I guess English would be considered a skill and not a platform to purposely discriminate against anyone.

          Thank you so much for the compliment, but actually I do speak *perfect* English; as well as any 1st language English speaker anyways. However, that's a good idea to make videos, and maybe I'll bone up on my accents too
          Frith,
          Kayla
          Originally Posted by Madam X View Post

          Kayshaw,

          I agree with Vip-ip, that speaking (and writing English) is just a skill - it wouldn't qualify as being discriminatory. For example, I am really bad at coding. I wouldn't expect anyone to hire me to write code.

          One of the reasons that one would want a website written in good English is because of Google. So, if you blame anyone for that, blame the SERPS.

          You're very pretty & you WOULD get hired to do videos - even if your English is not so great. in fact, I find accents adorable. So, an accent & not speaking so-called 'proper English' - would be an asset in a video. (At least in my opinion.)

          Bestest,
          Madam X
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    • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
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      Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

      I'll go on record.

      YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

      But again, this is what I see. I've only been online for 2 years, so I may be completely off and only subjected to my biased belief of what I've seen online.
      I love this video, and ask if I may have your permission to add it to a relevant post on my site. I can PM the link if necessary.
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
        Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

        I love this video, and ask if I may have your permission to add it to a relevant post on my site. I can PM the link if necessary.
        You have permission to take any video of mine that you see online and use it on any site as long as you don't diminish the value/purpose or present it as your own.



        I'm glad you liked it. Ultimately, I'm a very open guy.
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        • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

          You have permission to take any video of mine that you see online and use it on any site as long as you don't diminish the value/purpose or present it as your own.



          I'm glad you liked it. Ultimately, I'm a very open guy.
          Thank you so much! It really does emphasize the content of the post (which I've PM'd).
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    @kayshaw: that's just a skill, IMO there's nothing wrong with writing that. I think it's natural to ignore that if you think you're good enough anyway, because there is no other way to break into the business... but as a foreigner myself, I know this difficulty first-hand I now consider English my primary language.

    @The Niche Man: would you say that Internet Marketing could be used as a way to hide racism, because you may not have to interact with as many people?

    @Justin:
    I think that as white Internet marketers, it's harder for us to feel prejudice, due to the virtue that we've never been black. I'm not citing a study, but based on evidence by Tim Wise (and what The Niche Man said), I could only imagine that it's harder to earn trust if you're from certain countries, or if your appearance doesn't please someone. I agree that it's easier to hide all of that, and display yourself for your intelligence, but I would argue that there is racism online. If anyone cares to learn my reasons, I suggest reading about Tim Wise's speech, which actually inspired me to start this thread.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
      Originally Posted by vip-ip View Post

      @Justin: I think that as white Internet marketers, it's harder for us to feel prejudice, due to the virtue that we've never been black. I'm not citing a study, but based on evidence by Tim Wise (and what The Niche Man said), I could only imagine that it's harder to earn trust if you're from certain countries, or if your appearance doesn't please someone. I agree that it's easier to hide all of that, and display yourself for your intelligence, but I would argue that there is racism online. If anyone cares to learn my reasons, I suggest reading about Tim Wise's speech, which actually inspired me to start this thread.

      Best Regards,
      vip-ip ...
      I agree that it's much harder to see it that way. But until we change society/media as a whole, there will continue to be racism in every part of what we do in life.

      No matter your color, there's going to be racism. By subjecting me to the color "white", that's sometimes seen as racism. Now I realize there's a simple way to just look at things and say you're this, you're that, and blah blah blah. But when it comes down to it, the only way we can change those things is by changing ourselves.

      I'm human. So are you. And anyone else reading this, unless you're an alien being from outerspace or an animal that knows how to read O.o, you're human too. (also excluding anything else that can read this that isn't human ha).
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by vip-ip View Post


      @The Niche Man: would you say that Internet Marketing could be used as a way to hide racism, because you may not have to interact with as many people?
      vip-ip ...
      Yes, the Internet could be used to hide racism. But it's worked far better and effective the other way. To smash down the walls of racism. Because it encourages people to talk, exchange ideas and experiences. That's the most lethal weapon against racism. Understanding and communication.

      I don't think it's bad to talk about it. That's what helps to snuff it out. Ignoring and pretending it doesn't exist is like ignoring a small blaze, it will grow if you keep ignoring it. I just don't like to dwell on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author LeeroyGreen
    I don't even focus on the subject, and my life is better for it.

    I was the victim of a racial attack many years ago, ended up with a few bumps and bruises. But I never let that experience make me hate those who did it to me. What I do remember from it was the emotion from the attackers, it was pure anger and hate.

    Because of the experience, I easily recognise those same emotions whenever I see them, and it's not only racists who are charged with that feeling of anger and hate. I've met women who hate men, gay people who hate straight people and vice versa, white Vs Black, religion Vs religion Vs athiest etc.

    Anger and hate comes from all walks of life.

    The people I like to surround myself with are the ones who don't focus on these things, just positive, happy people who are too busy enjoying their life. And every single one of my friends have something in common...respect for others, and the ability not to let the downs in life get to them.

    10 years have gone by since I was attacked, and I bet for the guys who attacked me, they're thoughts for the last years are still dominated by anger and hate. Where as I have had a great life, and will continue to do so =D.

    Sure there is racism on the net, there's anger and hate everywhere....but who cares. If you focus on it, you're subjecting yourself to the bad feelings that come with it.

    If you were one of my friends vip-ip, I would tell ya to forget about the subject all together, it will get you down. Come and enjoy life with me instead.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohamad Latiff
      I agree somewhat that racism still exists to some degree not only online but in many other areas as well. But like LeeroyGreen, I choose to rather focus on the positive side of things and not let some small people (racists are really small people) affect my outlook of the world.

      In addition to being non-white (Malay), the fact that I am a Muslim also poses a double reason for me to be discriminated against by some people. Not only do I have to deal with racism sometimes, I also have to deal with Islamophobia sometimes when someone knows my name is "Mohamad".

      I even did a "split test" experiment once where I emailed some prospective clients using my real name (Mohamad) and using a "Western" name (Mike). I got more positive responses from using the latter. A couple of weeks later, I sent the same prospecting email using "Mike" instead to the same people that I sent from "Mohamad" - and got more responses. But seeing that I can't build a sustainable business relationship with people who know me by a fake name, I didn't follow through with that, it was just an experiment.

      Anyway, I was still successful with over 3,000 subscribers and fans of my personal development blog and newsletter once despite using my real name Mohamad Latiff.

      Racism and discrimination is still a problem that exists, but thankfully in most areas it is a minority now. A lot of people have been successful despite their minority status.

      Anyway, just for humour, there's also racism in Hollywood -

      Hollywood's 6 Favorite Offensive Stereotypes | Cracked.com

      The 5 Most Unintentionally Racist Movies About Racism | Cracked.com

      5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie | Cracked.com
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  • Profile picture of the author mydream247
    Yes racism does exist more so for me offline in my previous 10 years experience with outside sales I saw many situations where appointments were canceled right before my eyes while waiting in the lobby with the receptionist and her boss looking out his window at me.

    Also to see the look on their faces as they meet me and state "you don't look like you sound on the phone.

    Over time I began to understand why some people are racist, most people follow behavior taught as children from family mainly parents, I have watched my grandchildren play with white children as there parents looked on with their faces twisted in discomfort.

    children love to play laugh and have fun, it is not until parents influence there behaviors they become racist toward other children.

    I have one question for anyone who is racist. If your loved one was in a life and death situation and the only person who could help them was what ever color you hate, would you let your loved one die, or would you allow the person you hate save your loved ones life?
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      I could only imagine that it's harder to earn trust if you're from certain countries
      This is absolutely true.

      The classic proof: If you're from Nigeria, you have a much higher bar to gaining trust than if you are from Kenya, for example. But that's not racism.

      Most civilized communities online don't allow racist comments, but you still see people trying to sneak them in. And you see it in all directions.

      Like someone said above... As long as it exists offline, it will exist and be felt to some degree online.


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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Banned
    I follow a feed called "Clients From Hell," which has opened my eyes to some rather unfortunate racist preferences (i.e., job requests). Example: a client may want a photo of Anglo-Saxon faces only, or a client may ask that a person's eyes be photo-shopped to appear slanted (and thus make the company look "more intelligent," i.e., Asian).

    I don't encounter it as much as in the offline arena, but the feed has shown racism can and does create some uncomfortable business situations... even online.
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    • Profile picture of the author kimfal
      Honestly I have not run into much racism at all online or offline, I have however been witness to friends being unfairly treated offline. But like JOSourcing mentioned in here, that racism is more hidden on the internet, it's not until you deal with people as a service provider (of graphics, I would think) that you will see more of the racism surface!?

      And I agree with Justin Lewis as well!

      But I guess I'ill see as my face becomes more and more blasted around on the internet....hahaha
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    • Profile picture of the author sunray
      Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

      I follow a feed called "Clients From Hell," which has opened my eyes to some rather unfortunate racist preferences (i.e., job requests). Example: a client may want a photo of Anglo-Saxon faces only, or a client may ask that a person's eyes be photo-shopped to appear slanted (and thus make the company look "more intelligent," i.e., Asian).
      These cases quite possibly may have nothing to do with racism at all. It's just that people identify themselves more with the people that look more like them, do the same things, wear the same type of cloths etc. An advertiser simply has to take this into account. He should know who his client base is and publish the ads accordingly. For example, in Japan McDonalds may use Asian faces, in Italy it's Europeans with dark hair, in Norway with blond hair, and so on.
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      • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
        Originally Posted by sunray View Post

        These cases quite possibly may have nothing to do with racism at all. It's just that people identify themselves more with the people that look more like them, do the same things, wear the same type of cloths etc. An advertiser simply has to take this into account. He should know who his client base is and publish the ads accordingly. For example, in Japan McDonalds may use Asian faces, in Italy it's Europeans with dark hair, in Norway with blond hair, and so on.
        Hmm, interesting, because I've known this, but haven't thought of it through the IM lens. So if The Rich Jerk is a morally acceptable product, then would a hypothetical "The Black Baller" product be OK? It's just marketed to a minority audience, that's all...

        Something rubs me the wrong way about the above mentioned thought experiment.

        I guess the question I'm toeing on is, where do you draw the line between marketing and bias? If "The Black Baller" was an actual product, except called "The Hood Baller" and had a black spokesperson, that would be prejudiced; if it was a carbon copy of the rich jerk's landing page with a black spokesperson, it would become a 'niche site.' So who's spin to believe?

        Best Regards,
        vip-ip...
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    I'm glad this has become a productive discussion. I think that racism in the business world is a culture, and many people have to work around it. I've had clients ask to remain, shall we say, 'conservative.' I've also had clients specifically request diversity in my work (e.g., use pictures of black and white people). I would say, don't confuse racism of an individual, versus that individual's attempt to circumvent others' perceptions.

    It all boils down to intent.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip...
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  • Profile picture of the author dgmufasa
    Um - how can this exist when folks don't see/hear/speak to you? To me, issues like this can be addressed in the Haters Thread IMO
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    @dgmufasa:

    When starting this thread, I was out to learn from the WF community, not start a hate thread. Racism is real, I just wanted to get a concensus on what others think of racism online. State to state, county to county, I would expect to hear different answers. But I mean no part of this discussion in a hateful way.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip...
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  • Profile picture of the author Nickboby
    Sure there are racist on the Internet. Fortunately, with those people search sites and everything else, everything you do is recorded, so it's getting harder for them to hide. At least something good came out of Big Brother world we are living in.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    It's a smaller world now than it's ever been. People from all cultures can participate. And here's the thing. If someone can add value to my life or to my business, I don't give a rip if that person is yellow with purple spots.

    Emerson said, "The only thing that can grow is the thing you give energy to." I don't even think I've given racism a single thought this year until I saw your post. If you make a study of something you're giving it energy. And if you give it a lot of attention it will grow. The same thing goes for poverty, disease, hunger, corruption and anything else.

    But the good part of that quote is, you can give your attention to positive things like love, happiness, always doing your best in whatever you do, etc. Imagine that for a single day everyone in the world vacated their minds of thoughts of racism. It just vanished for a day.

    From that point on the world would be a far different and better place. Every day we have choices. We can step outside our doors (or go online) and we can look for bridges or we can look for walls. And whichever we seek we will find plenty. I choose bridges.

    Every day there are literally trillions of kind acts people do for each other. Every day. But to watch the evening news you'd think life was all about hate and fear and weird behavior. Now, go back to the quote above. That's a really good reason to never watch the news. Earl Nightingale said, "you become what you think about." That's why it's important to guard your thoughts.

    I choose to reject racism as even being a factor in marketing or in my life at all. If someone is doing their best to provide value that's all I need or want in any relationship, business or otherwise.
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  • Profile picture of the author iwillbeontop
    I see it all the time online. (Mostly towards people from India, Africa, Asia)

    Most instances are in the context of recruiting outsourcers/hiring.

    Sad.....
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    iwillbeontop and travlinguy have made claims to completely opposing experiences. I think the fact that two viewpoints could vary so much on such an important issue, gives the topic of racism enough merit to be talked about.

    Emerson said, “The only thing that can grow is the thing you give energy to.” I don't even think I've given racism a single thought this year until I saw your post. If you make a study of something you're giving it energy. And if you give it a lot of attention it will grow. The same thing goes for poverty, disease, hunger, corruption and anything else.

    But the good part of that quote is, you can give your attention to positive things like love, happiness, always doing your best in whatever you do, etc. Imagine that for a single day everyone in the world vacated their minds of thoughts of racism. It just vanished for a day.
    By that logic, organizations that help fight world hunger, poverty and inequality are just flaming the fire that's causing the problem? From my point of view, to agree with your idea is to dismiss Tim Wise's speech as pointless meddling. Even if these leaders' actions don't benefit the root causes of such problems, I think talking about them and raising awareness is better than not. Two reasons why. First, by involving more people in the discussion, you're democratizing the process of finding the solution. More voices = more attention = more options for solutions. Second, by remaining silent, you're doing nothing to change status quo.

    The reason I'm raising this topic is because I think there's much that goes unsaid. Racism is a reality, but the way you and I experience it, the way we "feel it," can be on either end of the spectrum. The purpose of this thread is to fill in the gaps. I was hoping to do so in a mature, responsible way; I'm glad that so far it's been going just that way!

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
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