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The Facebook Project - The Missing Box: The Racial Politics Behind the Facebook Interface

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Title: The Facebook Project - The Missing Box: The Racial Politics Behind the Facebook Interface
Author(s): Ginger, Jeff
Subject(s): Facebook racism discrimination identity digital divide interface colorblind human-computer interaction
Abstract: There is no race, ethnicity or nationality category available the default Facebook profile. This, combined with the fact that Facebook is a visually-driven website, suggests that Facebook serves to inadvertently or covertly perpetuate two racist or discriminatory norms: the colorblind mentality and racialized visual classification of others. This paper quickly traverses through a basic theory of identity that dictates that persons incur an on-going dialectic between individual and social identity, both on and offline. It contends that Facebook is an advantageous place to perform and portray one’s social identity and is largely visually-driven, therefore the interface is of paramount importance. Racial, ethnic, or national identity is of significance to many individuals and the lack of a place to express this is a form of discrimination. Such a category should be added to Facebook’s set of basic identity options. Guidelines for a successful implementation are provided.
Issue Date: 2008-08-03
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8816
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-08-04
 

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