As the recent #BlackLivesMatter protests have underlined once again, there are still significant discrepancies in cultural representation and equality in most nations.
Some of this is overt, but most is more subtle, with ingrained behaviors that reinforce societal norms which are inherently biased, even if you don’t realize it. That type of inequality is much harder to address, because while you may believe that you pass no judgment based on racial lines, the very systems that you adhere to could themselves be unbalanced, which makes it very difficult to ensure optimal opportunity for all.
For example, algorithms are based on our behaviors, so they align with societal norms as they are. If those norms are already skewed against certain elements, new algorithms will only reinforce them, because they’re based on user actions. So if more employers, for example, employ more people from certain neighborhoods, a data system could weight for that, making it tougher for people outside of the system to get in. People who go to certain schools might get preference, which aligns with the recruitment practices of certain providers – there are various ways in which inequality is solidified without our conscious effort to make it so.
Which is why this new infographic from YouTube is so beneficial. In looking to help creators address issues with representation within their content, YouTube has put together the below overview, which outlines the issue, highlights the impacts, and then provides a checklist of notes on how to address such within your own work.
This is an important, and helpful listing from YouTube. For more on this, you can undertake YouTube’s Creator Academy course on ‘Creating Inclusive Content’, or check out the graphic below.