With the development of society and science and technology, social media culture has become one of the mainstream cultures today, thus amplifying many existing social problems. All kinds of cultures rely on platinization and thus transform (Christin et al., 2021), which creates and amplifies many cultural controversies and social inequalities (Matamoros-Fernández,2017). This lack of diversity affects the development of the Internet to a great extent and harms society and individuals to a certain extent. This article will explore this phenomenon on several levels.
How does a lack of diversity affect the development of the Internet?
There is a lack of diversity in the workforce
Gender inequality has dramatically influenced the development of the Internet. In recent years, the concept of gender equality has been gradually accepted by the public. However, there have been unconscious gender biases and attacks under the influence of history and culture. This is particularly true in the tech sector, where women make up about half the workforce in the United States but hold just 26 per cent of computing jobs. At many of Silicon Valley’s top companies, fewer than 20 per cent of technical positions are held by women (Wynn, 2019). These statistics are a subtle reminder of how women are treated differently in the tech industry. According to interviews with men in technical departments, if there are jobs in which men are the dominant group, it is natural for them to seek them out. This seemingly natural phenomenon is a workplace bias against women. Executives also often describe how women are at a disadvantage. For example, they always describe women as not taking risks, not being as good at using relationships as men, and so on (Wynn, 2019).
The study found that in the Google image search CEO, the female ratio in Google image search results no men is high; this situation is mainly through the representative of the female, exaggerated gender stereotypes, and gender and vocational stereotypes in the description that do not match the image of the results may be considered a provocation. For example, when women are depicted as construction workers, their table is filled with thin, small clothing models, carrying safety and related professional tools and posing succinctly. However, when people look at these pictures, they are not perceived as professional. Moreover, this kind of image search results subtly affect the bias against women in the workplace.
Lack of diversity promotes monopolistic behavior
A lack of diversity can lead to monopolistic behaviour in the market.Monopoly behaviour is a major blow to the development of the economic market. The main reason for monopoly behaviour is the lack of diversity. The party monopolizing the market comprehensively covers the needs of customers so that competitors have no way to start. The role of a search engine is largely monopolized by Google, and for the most part, Google is the first search engine that comes to mind when people want to search for information. Ten states have accused Google of abusing its monopoly in online advertising. The accusers say Google and the deal it struck with Facebook to ensure that Google’s competitive position was always at an advantage, limiting the Internet’s ability to compete with Google for advertising dollars. The attorney general of Texas described the free market as a baseball game. He argued that Google positioned itself as the pitcher, batter, and umpire. In other words, Google monopolized the free market for search engines. This monopolistic behaviour is a good manifestation of the lack of diversity in the network leading to a bad economic cycle.
How does a lack of diversity harm societies and individuals?
The issue of racism has dominated social media exchanges in recent years. As an important communication and creation medium today, social media has not well solved various discrimination problems, and even often develops in a bad direction. From the point of view of race, the Internet is both an opportunity to exercise race and a forum to reproduce it(Matamoros-Fernández,2017). For example, in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, “Like Culture” reflects the use of views on social issues. Although the “dislike” button cannot be used on social media, users often use the “like” button to approve the content. Social media will pass the user “like” content preferences to recommendations, this algorithm makes users get the contents of a single, allowing users to positive bias is difficult to get a negative evaluation (Matamoros-Fernández,2017), this please is the lack of diversity of the user’s death cycle, could exacerbate the single of the Internet and prejudice against minorities.
“Doll test – The effects of racism on children (ENG)”by Fanpage.it. All right reserved. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/c/FanpageIt
The video shows how racism can be harmful to children or education by letting black children choose dolls. The children explained their inferiority to their skin colour through the performance and behaviour of choosing the doll. one child pointed to the white doll and said, “This one is looking at me funny,” which showed that both the children who needed the most protection accepted the bullying from the eyes. The last little girl even though the test was meant to be offensive. It’s a fate no one should have to suffer.
Does the Internet have Development space for a lack of diversity?
Although the online world still has many shortcomings to improve, it is not hopeless. The popularity of the sharing economies in recent years is a testament to the progress and diversity of the Internet. The sharing economy rejects uniformity and prevents monopoly at the economic level. With the advent of the sharing economy, everyone can become a microentrepreneur and everyone can share their resources to benefit. Airbnb, for example, is a successful example of the sharing economy (John, 2016), in which people benefit from renting and sharing their existing products. This sharing model is simple and promotes collaboration between people, resulting in win-win results between merchants and customers. This kind of sharing enterprise brings people back to themselves as individuals and as a society. The sharing economy has been described as a return to a childhood desire to share, suggesting that people are born innocent and kind (John, 2016). Therefore, this sharing economy is beneficial at the social level as well as at the individual level and shows the possibilities of network diversity.
To sum up, the lack of diversity on the Internet will affect the development of the Internet at various levels. For example, women will miss job opportunities and create value because of gender bias. Individual market economies are also suffering from the lack of diverse gender monopolies. Socially and personally, the lack of diversity is a huge psychological blow to many people, even children, which is bad for growth and for society. Although the Internet world needs a lot of improvement and progress in terms of diversity and policies, the sharing economy in recent years embodies network diversity and provides a successful example and hope for Internet diversity.
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John, N. A. (2016). The Age of Sharing. Polity Press.
Langston, J. (2015, April 9). Who’s a CEO? Google image results can shift gender biases. UW News. https://www.washington.edu/news/2015/04/09/whos-a-ceo-google-image-results-can-shift-gender-biases/
Matamoros-Fernández, A. (2017). Platformed racism: the mediation and circulation of an Australian race-based controversy on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Information, Communication & Society, 20(6), 930–946. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1293130
McCabe, D., & Wakabayashi, D. (2020, December 16). 10 States Accuse Google of Abusing Monopoly in Online Ads. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/technology/google-monopoly-antitrust.html
Wynn, A. T. (2019). Pathways toward Change: Ideologies and Gender Equality in a Silicon Valley Technology Company. Gender & Society, 34(1), 106–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243219876271