To what extent has a lack of diversity influenced the development of the internet? How does this lack of diversity harm societies and individuals?

Diversity, as everyone know, is extremely essential and may foster greater creativity and inclusiveness. Similarly, it is critical to the development of the Internet. According to several scholars, notably Harvard’s Robert Putnam, engagement in social settings that encourage diversity networks, such as neighbourhood and volunteer groups, has declined in the last quarter century, contributing to less network variety (2009). This essay will go into detail on how a lack of variety hinders the development of the Internet and harms both society and individuals.

The network content is where the absence of diversity on the Internet is first apparent. The evolution of the Internet will be severely constrained by the same information, same ideas, and monopolised social media. One excellent example is the Internet in China. China imposes very stringent and arbitrary restrictions on Internet material. As Guo noted, entertainment programmes in China operate under political control(2017). Content on the internet that discusses religion, sex, menstruation, LGBT organisations, the difficulties of life, etc. runs the danger of being removed or prohibited. This contributes to the homogeneity of the Chinese Internet, which is characterised by its abundance of positive content. For instance, the recently released Chinese movie Hidden in the Dust depicts the tough yet miserable existence of rural residents in north-west China. The crowd praised the movie highly once it aired, but it wasn’t long before the entire network pulled the plug on it. It was charged with being detached from reality and damaging the reputation of the Chinese people. Additionally, any works that have sexual orientations other than heterosexuality will be prohibited or misrepresented as family or friendship. Furthermore, the most literary works will always be obliged to have a joyful conclusion that appears flawless and harmonious. Even actual occurrences are affected by this tendency. In 2022, several males attempted to harass the women eating in the barbeque restaurant but were unsuccessful, so they instead savagely attacked four women. When the incident was first reported, it instantly sparked conversations on social media, but soon these discussions were suppressed, the incident’s details were erased, and it was difficult to speak out on behalf of the victims. But does removing the online evidence of these incidents mean that they didn’t occur? Leaving content online that solely portrays positive aspects of the nation and giving the impression that everything is going smoothly indicates that this society is indeed beautiful? No, this lack of variety will only make individuals act like puppets who have lost their ability to think. It will also be bad for society, stifle innovation, and lessen society’s commitment to inclusivity. People are confined to filter bubbles of an Internet devoid of diversity(Bruns, 2019).  They can only get access to limited information that they want to be seen, which will further deepen the Internet algorithm (Bruns, 2019) and make it more difficult for them to escape.

“unity in diversity” by Frerieke is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

According to Kyle (Hayden, 2022), “we thought the long tail of the internet would bring diversity; instead we got sameness and the perpetuation of the oldest biases, like gender discrimination.” There is also a dearth of diversity in the Internet sector. White people, Asians, and guys make up the majority of the workforce at large technological businesses, and the more senior the position, the more single the workforce becomes. According to the most recent data(Marcus, 2015), the same amount of boys and girls enrol in STEM optional courses in high schools. In Stanford and Berkeley, half of the introductory computer science students are female, despite the fact that there are twice as many males as women with the same credentials employed in STEM disciplines. This exposes the subtle bias present in the online business world. And this normal homogeneity makes the discrimination even more evident. This has a negative impact on women and individuals of various races, as well as deepening the perception that these groups “can’t study science and engineering well” and weakening inclusivity. Additionally, a male-to-female or racial ratio imbalance in the workplace can foster exclusivity, which in turn fosters harassment or bullying at work. It also leads to conceptual simplification at these big tech organisation. When persons of different races, genders, and cultural backgrounds work together, they may serve as many distinct customer groups as feasible. At the same time, if future technologies are developed only based on men’s experiences, ideas, and judgments, they are likely to result in new technology things that are particularly unfavourable to female and different races users, leading to more unequal status of them in society.

“Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog – 08/15/08” by DavidErickson is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Digital inclusion suffers from a lack of diversity. In 2011, Susan Crawford (Humphry, 2020) proposed the notion of “second-class” access in a New York Times editorial1, which broadly refers to digital exclusion caused by low or no internet access in impoverished parts of the United States. And the majority of those entering the second class in suffering are young individuals, non-white people, and low-income groups (Humphry, 2020). Humphry argues that the digital media experience is extremely differentiated due to the influence of social inequality in the development of class, gender, and race, and that digital inequality exacerbates pre-existing social disadvantages. Such a digital divide will impede Internet development and potentially cause a slew of personal and social issues. For instance, it will cause a slew of educational issues for children. According to a 2020 Common Sense Media survey(Lieberman, 2021), up to 15 million of the 50.7 million public school kids in the United States do not have an adequate network connection at home to engage in virtual learning. They can only have a lousy class experience, and it is difficult for them to understand or compare institutions or majors when they join higher education. Second, the absence of diversity is unfavourable to unemployed people. Many businesses post job openings online or hold online interviews.While they will be cut off from the rest of the world and will lose many job chances when suffering digital exclusion. Not only that, but they will be denied several social welfare and financial benefits. Third, with the spread of Covid 19, the importance of Internet access has skyrocketed. In order to cooperate with the epidemic prevention programme, several cities in China have embraced the approach of keeping individuals segregated for an extended period of time. To make a livelihood under such a regulation, people must rely on online supermarkets, which is extremely tough for those who are difficult to use the Internet. Furthermore, this lack of differentiation will exacerbate inequality in this society because the majority of Internet users are high-income white men who will first think from their own point of view and speak out, while the voices of vulnerable groups will be difficult to hear, squeezing their living space. At the same time, they are unable to participate in many online surveys and elections, and their right to free expression has been severely limited.

In a nutshell, the diversity of the Internet is essential; without it, its growth will be negatively impacted and society and individuals will face a variety of issues.



Refrence list:

Guo S (2017) When dating shows encounter state censors: a case study of ‘If You Are the One’. Media, Culture & Society 39(4): 487–503.

Humphry, J. (2020) ‘“Second class” access: homelessness and the digital materialization of class’. In Polson, E., Schofield Clark, L. and Gajjala, R. (2020) Routledge Companion to Media and Class. New York: Routledge.

Marcus, B. (2015). The lack of diversity in Tech is a cultural issue. Forbes. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from

Lieberman, M. (2021). Internet access is a civil rights issue. Education Week. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from

Hayden, L. (2022). The internet is making US homogeneous . Square Holes – Deeply understanding real people. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from

Bruns, A. (2019). Filter bubble. Internet Policy Review. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from

Pew Research Center. (2019). Part 3: Network diversity and community: The role of the internet and mobile phones. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from