Things That Matter

Mijente Is Petitioning For Univision And Telemundo To Change Their Bias Approach To The BLM Protests

Update: The Black Lives Matter protests aren’t going anywhere. Cities and states are listening and bowing to pressure from protesters demanding a radical change to policing. Yet, while the rest of the country watches the peaceful protests, Univisión and Telemundo are being called out for perpetuating racial bias in their coverage. Mijente is demanding some change.

Mijente is calling on Univisión and Telemundo to do better with their BLM coverage.

The Latino community is plagued with anti-Black racism and sentiment. We all heard it while we were growing up from our parents and grandparents. It was in the form of microaggressions of the “mejorar la raza” variety. Well, now it is 2020 and it is time to hold our community accountable for their words against the Black community. Some are taking their fight to Univisión and Telemundo accusing them of perpetuating the same anti-Black racism in their coverage of the BLM protests.

“These two networks are the main source of information for millions of Latino households,” reads the petition demanding that Telemundo and Univisión do better in their reporting. “By producing news programming and content that focuses on negative depictions of protesters, that fails to cover the systematic causes of anti-Black police violence, and that makes no effort at centering the voices of Black people in their coverage the networks have contributed to the Latino community’s skewed and incomplete understanding of the current crisis. Their coverage feeds into anti-Black stereotypes that have historically existed in the Latino community, which in the extreme can and have been used as justification for anti-Black violence and which serves to further divide us.”

If you want to sign the petition, you can click here.

Original: In the wake of videos showing the arrest and death of George Floyd, protests have erupted across the country.

The video capturing Floyd’s death shows the 46-year-old African-American struggling to breathe under the harsh restrained of a police officer who used his knee to keep Floyd pinned to the ground by his neck. As Floyd struggled, bystanders pled with the arresting police officers to allow him to breathe.

Along with the protests and various outcries from political figures and celebrities across the country, media outlets have been thorough in their reports of the protests. Coverage has ranged from reports directly at the scene of protests as well as interviews with protestors and Black Lives Matter advocates and allies. Over the weekend, many outlets have also focused on the ways in which the protests have taken shape across the country with a small percentage of participants looting stores and being forced to battle against police who have resorted to using tear gas and violence to combat rioters.

Unfortunately, outlets like Telemundo and Univision have chosen to cover the events taking place by sensationalizing the violence taking place.

The two outlets, known for their coverage of Latino-related news, also have a common history of juggling racial issues along with biases within its newsrooms. It turns out, in a time when their Black audiences need them most, the two media outlets have failed once again. Over the weekend, users on Twitter were quick to call out both Telemundo and Univision for their fear-inducing coverage of the protests that have taken place over the weekend.

Speaking about the biased coverage one users’ post to Twitter sparked thousands of comments and retweets.

“I find it interesting that hispanic media like Univision & Telemundo are so selective on whats broadcasted in regards to the protests and riots going on knowing thats where the majority of our latin/hispanic parents depend on 4 info,” a user by the name of @valeriabty_wrote. “Turn that shit off n teach ur parents instead!”

Others were quick to point out the coverage is pretty par for the course when it comes to the Latinidad.

“I am a black Puerto Rican and I could not agree more, we Afro Latinos have little to no visibility within the Latino community. Colorism is alive and kicking in the community,” another user wrote.

Here’s hoping Telemundo and Univision find a way to change their approach to coverage and support the Black community.

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Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Things That Matter

Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Ever notice how on some social platforms like Twitter or Instagram that you yourself are mysteriously unable to crop your display images on your own? That’s because Twitter prefers to let their algorithms make the decision. Over the weekend users on Twitter discovered the surprising dangers of letting algorithms crop your own images.

Education tech researcher Colin Madland drew attention to the issue while speaking out about how the video-calling program Zoom, often crops the head out of his black person coworker while on calls.

It didn’t take long for Madland and other users to discover that Twitter’s AIs use discriminatory equations to prioritize certain faces as well. In short, the social platform’s AIs prefer white faces over Black ones.

In response to the discoveries, a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that the company was looking into the issue “Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing. But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’re looking into this and will continue to share what we learn and what actions we take,” they stated.

Of course, Madland’s discovery is nothing new. In 2019, test results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that some of the strongest algorithms online were much more likely to confuse the faces of Black women than those of white women, or Black or white men. “The NIST test challenged algorithms to verify that two photos showed the same face, similar to how a border agent would check passports,” Wired points out. “At sensitivity settings where Idemia’s algorithms falsely matched different white women’s faces at a rate of one in 10,000, it falsely matched black women’s faces about once in 1,000—10 times more frequently. A one in 10,000 false match rate is often used to evaluate facial recognition systems.”

Still, it didn’t take long for users on the platform to ask what other physical preferences Twitter has.

Turns out the AIs prefer Ted Cruz with large anime breasts over a normal-looking Ted Cruz.

(To better understand this Tweet, click the link above)

The user who tested the image of Cruz, found that Twitter’s algorithm on the back end selected what part of the picture it would showcase in the preview and ultimately chose both images of Cruz with a large anime chest.

It’s nothing new that Twitter has its massive problems.

For a platform that so controls and oversees so much of what we consume and how we now operate, it’s scary to know how Twitter chooses to display people with different skin tones. The round of jokes and Twitter experiments by users has only revived concerns on how “learning” computer algorithms fuel real-world biases like racism and sexism.

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Study Says 95% Of Women Don’t Regret Having Abortions

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Study Says 95% Of Women Don’t Regret Having Abortions

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Across the country, many states require a woman seeking an abortion to undergo waiting periods and counseling. The assumption behind the regulation is that ultimately women looking to have an abortion will regret their decision in the long term. A study published this past January in Social Science & Medicine, however, found that over 95 percent of the women who took place in a UC San Francisco study revealed that they had no regrets about their decision five years later.

The finding not only completely debunks the notion that most women who have abortions suffer from regret and guilt over their decision even if the decision was a hard one to make.

Out of interest, we researched online forums like Reddit to see what women had to say about their decision to terminate their pregnancies.

“I’ve had… more than one abortion. It was never a thought. Immediately after finding out I was pregnant, I bee-lined to the clinic. BEST decision I have ever made. No regrets at ALL! I’ve been called names, “baby killer”, etc. but I laugh at these people. I’m open about it, not that I had the choice because my ex SIL went around town telling everyone (thanks, stupid fuckhead ex-husband). The people that give me a hard time about it are parents themselves and are probably just bitter and jealous, anyways.” – Reddit user

“I had one when I was 21 (almost 39 now). Not once, for a single second, have I ever regretted that decision. I was dating a complete shitshow of an excuse for a human being (a heroin dealer, which I didn’t find out until later) who was abusive and promiscuous, and I knew the second I found out I was pregnant that I wasn’t keeping it. In addition to already knowing I was childfree for life, there was no way would I have brought an unwanted child into that kind of situation. So my very supportive mom took me to the PP appointment, where the staff was wonderful and only gave me a brief counseling session in which they made sure I was making the right decision for myself. The rest was pretty cloudy for me, because they gave me a Valium beforehand, but I do remember that when they did the ultrasound, they couldn’t find a heartbeat but still wanted to do the procedure because the pregnancy test was positive. After that, mom drove me back home, and the guy I was dating didn’t even seem to care about much of anything. We broke up just over a year later, and I heard through the grapevine that he was in jail for grand theft auto a few months after that. Today, I’m super well-adjusted and in a happy relationship with a really awesome guy who is as childfree as I am!” –Shanashy

“I’ve told people when it has come up in conversation.”

“I had an abortion recently. Mid-20s, stable relationship and good income. IUD failure. I’ve told people when it has come up in conversation. We don’t want children so we won’t have one. No regrets here.” –meinkampfyjumper

“When I was 17, I had an abortion. I’m 30, and have never once regretted it, nor ever felt guilty either. I knew, even after telling my parents and grandma about it I was certain. The guy was a nice guy, we talked about keeping it (because he was almost aborted himself when his mom got pregnant with him), but in the end he was already in the process of joining the Army. I would have been alone, a senior in high school, with my family’s help. That was not how i wanted it to happen, if at all, amd neither did he. He helped pay for half the procedure and when he took me home, my mom was supportive. I was scared yes, but relieved. She was amazing (still is). My grandma called me cold hearted for not thinking of the baby, when in my head(and heart), thats all I was doing. I learned later that my mom, grandma and great grandma had all had an abortion, but still had kids later. And its been great for them. Im on my second IUD now and have no plans for kids. Every so often I would get back in contact with the guy, and every time he brings up the kid we could have had (I was the one that got away). I would have had a 12 year old by now. And I breath a sigh of releif every time that I dont. I can barely take care of myself, hanging on by a thread and know I’m happier and better off. To some it may be cold, but I did the best thing for me, and made sure it never happened again, but also know i have the option and support in whatever i decide. And when i go for a check up or any Drs visit and its asked, i have no shame, no guilt, no regret in my decision. (Bracing myself each time for backlash, tho it never comes, true pros). Im happy other women have the same relief. There should be no negativity for our choices, but when it comes, bottom line, we know we did the right thing. And its not up to them for shaming us. Edit: my dad even told my brother and I years later ‘thank you for not making me a grandpa before I was 45.’ And gave me a pointed look. It was a small weight lifted I didnt know I carried. Especially after his reaction after i told him I was pregnant. (Explosive).” –bubblymayden

“I would have an 8 year old son right now if I hadn’t gotten an abortion. The thought of having a kid, a son, creeps me out. I have 0 regrets.” –Jens0485

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