With the progress of the times and technology, digital media has gradually become the basic and main mode of communication for human users, as well as digital media, based on the Internet. Since the development of the Internet, its structure and scope are broad. In reality, amount of aspects is related to the Internet. However, the dependent on the internet by individuals is largely limited to the development of internet information diversity. The existence of the Internet and the use of users affect each other. It is a double-edged sword, beneficial to society and individuals, but it also has disadvantages. This article will discuss and analyze the lack of diversity on the internet and the damage to the user group in two aspects, race and gender.
The lack of diversity influenced the development of the internet
The popularity of the Internet and digital media occupies a major position in the lives of human users. Due to the significant influence of Internet information, a large number of users lead to the lack of diversity of Internet information content. The lack of diversity on the Internet is affected by many factors, such as national systems and commercial regulation. The flattening of hierarchies and entrepreneurial structures is also the impact of structural inequality on the Internet(Lusoli & Turner, 2021). Based on the different cultures and policies of countries, the presentation of information contained on the Internet is also disparate. In western countries and Asian countries, politicians use network information to control people’s minds. The emergence of social media has not only enabled followers to play a more active role, which is different from the one-way information dissemination of traditional media, but also change the issues discussed in elections and the way the media report political news(Chou, 2017). The Internet and social media have an impact on governance, including changes in popular support and political rights in elections. The Facebook 2015 survey report showed that more than three-quarters of Taiwan’s population use Facebook every day to communicate and transfer information through computers and mobile phones, which is the most popular form of social media in Taiwan(Chou, 2017). With the development of media technology, the traditional way of information dissemination has been replaced by digital media. The social software in electronic devices has the functions of newspaper and radio, and the frequency and quantity of the public using newspapers to receive information have decreased significantly. Therefore, in terms of political elections, more people have the right to vote and are more easily affected by network information. Part of politicians use the media to spread information that is good for their parties and bad for their opponents, to gain increasing support. As a result, the information is biased and incomplete. Therefore, national and commercial regulation is part of the reason for the lack of diversity in Internet content.
The lack of diversity has an impact on the development of the Internet. Excessive control of information by the government and enterprises is detrimental to the development of the Internet. Homogeneous network content and labour force restricted the future development space of the Internet and lead to potential social harm. This phenomenon limits the extent and quantity of news stories accepted by the public and users. The internet culture is predominantly composed of white, and males(Lusoli & Turner, 2021). In Hollywood movies, white men play the main roles, while it is common for coloured people to play supporting roles. The audience is forced to accept the mainstream culture dominated by white people, which exerts a subtle influence on the cultures of various countries. Internet companies have not made a clear response to the current situation of inequality(Lusoli & Turner, 2021). Wagner 2018 stated that the management of Silicon Valley boasts that they are inclusive employers, but the data shows that 3% of the workforce is African American. The lack of network diversity probability induces serious social problems, including gender issues and ethnic issues. Unfriendly behaviour towards minorities deviates from the original intention of global network connection.
The lack of diversity harm societies and individuals
The lack of diversity on the Internet plays a role in amplifying racial conflicts. The race is still a concern in a pluralistic social system. As the presentation and gathering of human group thoughts, Internet users and Internet content affect each other. Information with personal bias is released on the Internet, and other users receive this subjective information over a long period of time, which leads to inequality. The Internet platform allows the public to express their views and ideas more freely, but there are also dangers, including the ideas of radical groups being presented. Google marked black photos as “gorillas”, which not only exposed the technical defects in Google’s system but also affected its public awareness and magnified the view of racial prejudice(Simonite, 2018). The development of national culture on the Internet has reduced the barriers between ethnic groups, but it has also strengthened the channels for racist venting. Racists insult and slander the term “Jews”, which represents nationality, the Internet has deepened the impact of this behaviour(Noble, 2018). Malicious and subjective information in digital media aggravates the inequality problem in reality. The national government has made corresponding decisions and relevant laws to protect the rights and interests of groups from being threatened after realizing the harm of Internet information homogenization. Under the leadership of the European Union government, most countries in the world have drafted laws and bills against the reality of the Internet, in order to weaken online racial discrimination and other inequality issues and maintain social stability(Brennan, 2009). These countermeasures effectively control racism and radicalism on the Internet.
In terms of understanding gender issues, information exchange on the Internet has increased the exposure of women’s rights issues. Unfriendly attitudes towards women’s rights in the workplace and society have also been fully demonstrated on the Internet. White men are the main group of employees in Internet companies. The lack of female employees leads to the neglect of women’s rights in network information. Women are vulnerable to sexual harassment, threats of violence and sexual hate speech among Internet users. A large number of discriminatory and insulting search terms against women often appear in social software, such as Twitter and Facebook. Men are rarely given relevant names, while women are given discriminatory items such as no driving, no work, and no housework(Noble, 2018). The phenomenon that female labels in digital media are related to pornography is not uncommon. Black girls often appear in search browsers and pornographic websites as pornographic labels(Noble, 2018). Black women have been hit at the same time in terms of race and gender issues on the Internet. A large number of female users use the Internet to strive for equality and due benefits for themselves, and female employees in Internet companies are also growing. Therefore, the women’s rights movement was also effective on the Internet.
In conclusion, through the discussion on the lack of diversity on the Internet, information homogenization has a negative impact on social racial issues and gender inequality. The control of government departments and appropriate regulation of Internet enterprises effectively protect the rights and interests of users. The progress of the Internet platform is helpful to the harmony of the future society.
Lusoli, A., & Turner, F. (2021). “It’s an Ongoing Bromance”: Counterculture and Cyberculture in Silicon Valley—An Interview with Fred Turner. Journal of Management Inquiry, 30(2), 235–242. https://doi.org/10.1177/1056492620941075
Chou, L.-C., & Fu, C.-Y. (2017). The influence of Internet on politics: the impact of Facebook and the Internet penetration on elections in Taiwan. Applied Economics Letters, 24(7), 494–497. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2016.1205715
Wagner, P. (2018, June 11). Infographic: Does Silicon Valley have a diversity problem? Statista. https://www.statista.com/chart/14208/share-of-afroamericans-in-us-tech-companies/
Noble, Safiya U. (2018) A society, searching. In Algorithms of Oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. New York: New York University. pp. 15-63.
Simonite, T. (2018, January 11). When it comes to gorillas, google photos remains blind. WIRED. https://www.wired.com/story/when-it-comes-to-gorillas-google-photos-remains-blind/
Brennan, F. (2009). Legislating against Internet race hate. Information & Communications Technology Law, 18(2), 123–153. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600830902941076