There’s a lot going on in the United States, right. So there’s a legacy of structural racism that’s been impacting Black communities in the United States ever since we were kidnapped from Africa and brought to the United States. And so what we’re seeing today is actually a continuation of the racist policies and practices of the United States. We’re seeing state-sanctioned violence with impunity on black people.
Otherwise engaged refers to our time as a time of distraction. As a time when social media is actually beginning to focus our attention on things that are distracting. And I want to talk a little bit about first of all of our new—and it’s going to sound like an oxymoron, but it’s our new sort of distracted modes of engagement.
Web standards are a collection of intangibles that we collectively agree to be true. They’re our stories. They’re our collective, consensus reality. They’re what web browsers agree to implement and what we agreed to use. The Web is agreement.
I do disability and sexuality education. And activism and advocacy around sexuality and disability issues, and reproductive health issues. And I want to teach the world that people with disabilities have the right and ability to give and receive pleasure.
Lo and behold humanity is fairly consistent. We would mention mornings in the mornings. We get tired sort of towards the evenings. Talk about coffee more frequently in the morning. These are the sort of normal diurnal patterns that we see on Twitter, right. As expected. But when interesting events happen and events that are out of the ordinary happen it’s very clear that they happen.
The Internet meme framework is a useful way to understand a certain range of object production, a certain sort of informal production that combines networked modes of production similar to shanzhai or the hat printing, with the global reach of the Internet and global shipping services as well. The ability to move bits and atoms with just as much ease and efficiency.
One of the things that was happening at the time is that one of the accusations that was being made, or that was being proffered by people who made sort of snap, knee-jerk responses to what was going on is that social media is being blamed. Social media was blamed for the worst civil unrest that England had seen in recent years.
When we think about network graphs and we talk about how the network effects that make up an important part of how social movements and how information is distributed online, there’s this assumption in those visualizations that every node in that network is equal. But very often, and you can slice data in many different way, the languages that we speak actually limit the networks that we have access to and that we’re interacting with.
I think that we need a radical design change. And I might ask if I were teaching an HCI class or design class with you, I would say, “How are you going to design this so that not one life is lost?” What if that were the design imperative rather than what’s your IPO going to be?
You don’t know who they are. It gives you no handles, no identifying information, no location. All you know is they’re typing in English and that is how they’re feeling at this general moment in time. And then it just sends them this tweet. It’s one tweet over and over again: “Someone over here wanted you to know that you’re not alone.”