The Digital Divide

The digital divide is when one group of people has access to the internet while another group of people fall behind in having access to the internet. Digital redlining is a way of creating these divides. It determines which communities receive advanced information and which do not, discriminating against poorer neighborhoods and neighborhoods with people of color. High-speed broadband is required to keep up with society so inevitably people from poorer neighborhoods lag behind in technological advancements. In Is Digital Divide Causing Internet Caste System? Zenitha Prince discusses how in the 1980s and ’90s, telephone companies would not provide connection to poorer communities or the connection would be faulty. This example demonstrates how unfair and discriminatory the divide is. According to Digital Divide: The Technology Gap Between the Rich and the Poor, a Pew research study states that 49% of African Americans and 51% of Hispanics have high-speed internet at home, but 66% of Caucasians have it. This is a significant difference, and it shows that Caucasian households are better set to move up in the world of technology.

The UN has said that withholding Internet access is a denial of a human right. People receive a plethora of information from the Internet and it is basically what keeps society going in a modern work day. Social media, emails, news, long-distance calling — these things use the Internet. So denying this resource is a way of denying contact to the rest of the world.

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