The Digital Divide
The year is 2017 and you are sitting on your computer, smartphone, tablet, etc. reading this post, then you come to the realization that in other countries all across the world or even in different parts of your city that there are people who do not possess this ability. This is digital redlining, a problem that has impacted our nation and people across the world since developments in any field were made that generally marginalize minority communities and groups of the like from having access to technological advances. The digital divide is essentially that there are many people due to where they live, and the race and gender representation in the area, that do not have adequate access to technological advances in society, which are happening every day. One example of how this is being played out in communities today is through the new highly popular game “Pokemon Go”. It is shown through the U.S. News article that Pokemon Go shows serious signs of digital redlining as there are not nearly as many of the games features available to people in the low-income, minority communities compared to those that are majority white and have many more opportunities to reap everything the game has to offer. Redlining has a serious impact on the social and economic aspects of communities. In an article by AFRO on the digital divide written by Zenitha Prince includes a quote from a credible source on the subject, Mark Cooper, director of research at the Consumer Federation of America, who says: “As more and more of daily life goes on the Web, then being left behind becomes worse and worse. We have a good 20 percent of the nation that is at least two generations behind. And in cyberspace 20 years is an eternity. So you have permanently disadvantaged communities.” This is a serious issue that will leave a majority of people domestic and globally far behind with no hope to ever develop. This is why the U.N. is so concerned about this issue and views it as a violation of human rights. The digital divide can and in some senses already has pushed communities and groups of individuals years behind where they could be if they were granted the same opportunities to access the technology that so many other people have, therefore, the United Nations realizes the systematic divide that is being created and the inability for some small countries like Egypt, Morocco, Ukraine and many other developing countries from ever being able to contend on a global scale with other nations because they are not even given the fair chance to better themselves. If it is created by humans and a public good to be purchased and have access to then everyone deserves to reap the benefits of our technologically progressive world, therefore, they can make changes for themselves and for the people of their communities in the future. People do not deserve to be marginalized and have more hoops to jump through to move forward with the technology of our world because of gender, race, or where they live.
Prince, Zenitha. “Stephanie Cornish.” Afro. N.p., 07 Feb. 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2016. <http://www.afro.com/is-digital-redlining-causing-internet-caste-system/>.
Akhtar, Allana. “Is Pokémon Go Racist? How the App May Be Redlining Communities of Color.” USA Today. Gannett, 09 Aug. 2016. Web. 13 Sept. 2016. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/08/09/pokemon-go-racist-app-redlining-communities-color-racist-pokestops-gyms/87732734/>.