People have exhibited symptoms of being racist for generations- and now they are facing backlash for it. The concept of racist is intolerable now, and people are gradually becoming more aware and educated regarding these matters. From advertisements to songs, movies, photographs, and even individual and group mentalities, racism can be seen almost everywhere. It is up to every individual to break down the racist culture bit by bit so that we can all live in a parallel world.
Racism on the internet is known as cyber-racism, and it can take place in many ways, which we might not even be consciously aware of. However, taking for granted that you do not want your website to be racist, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
Signs that your website is racist
This can seem quite counterintuitive to many, but unknowingly, most of us play into racist themes. Although we might not mean to be so, it might be glaringly obvious to others, that our websites are showing racial discrimination. Here are a few signs on your website that you need to look out for:
What kind of images do you have on your website
Whether you are initially setting up your website, or have it up and running for ages, you are bound to have used at least a couple of stock images from Google on your page. If you have done this, then open your website and look a little more closely at the pictures.
Unfortunately, most of the images we see on Google or even other websites play into a lot of stereotypes. If you look up pictures of a firefighter, you will find images of certain kinds of men, with a specific body type, and even specific similar names! Or say you wish to upload a picture of a cybersecurity expert on your website, and you go off to Google to look for an appropriate image to put up, you will be surprised at the stereotypical images you come across. Probably some white man in his 30’s, with glasses, curly hair, looking very solemn. However, in reality, the top leading cybersecurity experts are a white woman in her 50’s and a black man in his 40’s. But Google stock images will not show you this!
When you are picking images for your website, you will need to consider these before playing into the stereotypes.
Read More: 10 Ways to Optimize Images on Your Website
Although recognizing racist text is far more comfortable than images on your website, some people still graze their eyes over specific texts and do not see the glaring racism in them. The first, most important thing that you must do is to educate yourself about what is considered racist and what is not.
It can be easy to get blinded by what is continuously fed to us by the media and our environment. Recognizing racism on your website might sound like a huge task, but it is an important one, nonetheless.
If you see that you or someone else has posted some racist content on your website, you should remove it immediately. You can always edit the content to make it more racially friendly or not give in to any racial stereotypes or discrimination.
Several websites also have comment sections where individuals can post whatever comments they wish to. It is vital to check up on these comments regularly. If you find anything offensive or even slightly racist, it is your job to remove that comment from your website and also block the commenter if necessary.
Interactive forums or chat groups
It is a good idea to have an open, interactive forum on your website, as it increases audience participation. As soon as audiences feel like they are being heard and the website owner is attentive and responsive, viewers feel engaged and want to interact with the page.
If you have an open or interactive forum or even chat groups on your website, you will need to actively keep an eye out on what kind of content people are posting or talking about. Also if you are not racist yourself, someone else might be. They might use your website or the forum to propagate racist ideologies, which can, in turn, also harm your website.
You need to keep an eye out continuously on the kind of interaction going on between audiences on your website. In case you notice derogatory or racist comments, you must take action immediately.
Emails and spam
Circulation of emails with racist material can be extremely detrimental not only for your company and its website but also against you as in individual. It is quite sad to see that legal actions have to be taken against individuals or groups who partake in racism, but it seems like in this modern-day and world. It is the most effective way to stop it.
Many hackers can often hack into the company emails and send out spam messages to customers, putting in racial comments or messages into them. It is your job to appoint someone who can take charge of these kinds of incoming and outgoing emails on your website, and immediately take action in case you see something of this sort taking place.
Racism is a dangerous and very hurtful trend, although calling it a trend might not be entirely right. It is up to every individual to stop signs and symptoms of racism, whether they are exhibiting it themselves or someone around them is doing so. When it comes to your website, especially, you should be very careful about the kind of content that you are posting and ensure that they are culturally and racially appropriate.
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