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Post Reply "We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs"
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34 / Pacific North West
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Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17
omg... really? Someone had so much time on their hands they decided to make an issue out of a few gifts they saw and took the high road? Ok well fine then.. I am now offended at any gifs showing poor Asians or white trash. Stop using them or I will cry and my feelings will be hurt... ffs this isn't even worth my time.
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Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17
This is an interesting consideration that I've never really thought about. It's something I'll be paying more attention to from now on. Seems like it might be unintentionally prevalent in this age where reaction gifs and image macros have almost become their own medium of communication.

Have to say that I'm slightly disappointed in the responses so far though. The post isn't even describing a problem or prescribing a course of action- it's just raising awareness about an idea that one might not usually think about. Even so, people are so dismissive and hostile toward a simple "food for thought" type post. And that's ignoring the people who just outright miss-read or miss-interpreted the post itself.

Ah, well. Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess...
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23 / M / UK
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Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17
TLDR: black people in gifs posted by non-blacks is problematic...

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Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/4/17
I mean, I understand what she's trying to get at but she isn't doing the greatest job of getting there(?)

Pretending to be black online is certainly a legitimate problem. Trying to bolster your argument with Giphy's autocomplete on the other hand reduces your whole argument to an easily dismissed talking point.

The article she linked to was a better explanation:
https://www.theawl.com/2014/08/memes-and-misogynoir/


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Posted 8/4/17

After all, our culture frequently associates black people with excessive behaviors, regardless of the behavior at hand. Black women will often be accused of yelling when we haven’t so much as raised our voice. Officer Darren Wilson perceived a teenage Michael Brown as a hulking “demon” and a young black girl who remained still was flipped and dragged across a classroom by deputy Ben Fields. It's an implication that points toward a strange way of thinking: When we do nothing, we’re doing something, and when we do anything, our behavior is considered "extreme." This includes displays of emotion stereotyped as excessive: so happy, so sassy, so ghetto, so loud. In television and film, our dial is on 10 all the time — rarely are black characters afforded subtle traits or feelings. Scholar Sianne Ngai uses the word “animatedness” to describe our cultural propensity see black people as walking hyperbole.


uh. is there ANY black comedian or actor who does -not- act like a walking hyperbole? Well, besides Will Smith, who can pull off the serious badass or calm intelligent type pretty well. Nearly all the reaction gifs I've seen (that have black people) are actors/comedians. They're pure geniuses at drawing out the humor of situations and events with their reactions, so naturally there's going to be a lot of gifs made of those hilarious faces, or reactions.
qwueri 
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Posted 8/4/17
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Posted 8/4/17

Archeris wrote:


After all, our culture frequently associates black people with excessive behaviors, regardless of the behavior at hand. Black women will often be accused of yelling when we haven’t so much as raised our voice. Officer Darren Wilson perceived a teenage Michael Brown as a hulking “demon” and a young black girl who remained still was flipped and dragged across a classroom by deputy Ben Fields. It's an implication that points toward a strange way of thinking: When we do nothing, we’re doing something, and when we do anything, our behavior is considered "extreme." This includes displays of emotion stereotyped as excessive: so happy, so sassy, so ghetto, so loud. In television and film, our dial is on 10 all the time — rarely are black characters afforded subtle traits or feelings. Scholar Sianne Ngai uses the word “animatedness” to describe our cultural propensity see black people as walking hyperbole.


uh. is there ANY black comedian or actor who does -not- act like a walking hyperbole? Well, besides Will Smith, who can pull off the serious badass or calm intelligent type pretty well. Nearly all the reaction gifs I've seen (that have black people) are actors/comedians. They're pure geniuses at drawing out the humor of situations and events with their reactions, so naturally there's going to be a lot of gifs made of those hilarious faces, or reactions.


Idris elba,Denzel washington,Morgan freeman,Chadwick boseman,Forest whitaker,Michael b. jordan to name a few.
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Posted 8/4/17

ronin99 wrote:


Archeris wrote:


After all, our culture frequently associates black people with excessive behaviors, regardless of the behavior at hand. Black women will often be accused of yelling when we haven’t so much as raised our voice. Officer Darren Wilson perceived a teenage Michael Brown as a hulking “demon” and a young black girl who remained still was flipped and dragged across a classroom by deputy Ben Fields. It's an implication that points toward a strange way of thinking: When we do nothing, we’re doing something, and when we do anything, our behavior is considered "extreme." This includes displays of emotion stereotyped as excessive: so happy, so sassy, so ghetto, so loud. In television and film, our dial is on 10 all the time — rarely are black characters afforded subtle traits or feelings. Scholar Sianne Ngai uses the word “animatedness” to describe our cultural propensity see black people as walking hyperbole.


uh. is there ANY black comedian or actor who does -not- act like a walking hyperbole? Well, besides Will Smith, who can pull off the serious badass or calm intelligent type pretty well. Nearly all the reaction gifs I've seen (that have black people) are actors/comedians. They're pure geniuses at drawing out the humor of situations and events with their reactions, so naturally there's going to be a lot of gifs made of those hilarious faces, or reactions.


Idris elba,Denzel washington,Morgan freeman,Chadwick boseman,Forest whitaker,Michael b. jordan to name a few.


I feel shamed for having forgotten Morgan Freeman. I can hardly say that I list Morgan Freeman as one of my top 10 favorite actors now.
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Posted 8/4/17 , edited 8/5/17
Never heard of this before, kind of like how I only heard of "woke" early this year...Sounds like another "dear white guys" mtv fake privileged thing I shouldn't listen to.
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18 / M / Valhalla
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Posted 8/4/17

Archeris wrote:


ronin99 wrote:


Archeris wrote:


After all, our culture frequently associates black people with excessive behaviors, regardless of the behavior at hand. Black women will often be accused of yelling when we haven’t so much as raised our voice. Officer Darren Wilson perceived a teenage Michael Brown as a hulking “demon” and a young black girl who remained still was flipped and dragged across a classroom by deputy Ben Fields. It's an implication that points toward a strange way of thinking: When we do nothing, we’re doing something, and when we do anything, our behavior is considered "extreme." This includes displays of emotion stereotyped as excessive: so happy, so sassy, so ghetto, so loud. In television and film, our dial is on 10 all the time — rarely are black characters afforded subtle traits or feelings. Scholar Sianne Ngai uses the word “animatedness” to describe our cultural propensity see black people as walking hyperbole.


uh. is there ANY black comedian or actor who does -not- act like a walking hyperbole? Well, besides Will Smith, who can pull off the serious badass or calm intelligent type pretty well. Nearly all the reaction gifs I've seen (that have black people) are actors/comedians. They're pure geniuses at drawing out the humor of situations and events with their reactions, so naturally there's going to be a lot of gifs made of those hilarious faces, or reactions.


Idris elba,Denzel washington,Morgan freeman,Chadwick boseman,Forest whitaker,Michael b. jordan to name a few.


I feel shamed for having forgotten Morgan Freeman. I can hardly say that I list Morgan Freeman as one of my top 10 favorite actors now.


Fair enough.I was just trying to point out that there are many black actors that do more than comedy or don't do comedy at all.
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31 / M / Marshall, Michigan
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Posted 8/5/17

runec wrote:

I mean, I understand what she's trying to get at but she isn't doing the greatest job of getting there(?)

Pretending to be black online is certainly a legitimate problem. Trying to bolster your argument with Giphy's autocomplete on the other hand reduces your whole argument to an easily dismissed talking point.

The article she linked to was a better explanation:
https://www.theawl.com/2014/08/memes-and-misogynoir/




Do you agree with everything in the article?
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28 / M
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Posted 8/5/17
What's that law where if you tell people not to do something everyone ends up doing it?

That'll happen with this I suspect.
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25 / F / PA, USA
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Posted 8/5/17
She conflates identity fraud with the bastardization called "digital blackface" that ironically leans in favor of segregation. When you take a legitimate issue and spin it into something off the wall and likely influenced by an inferiority complex, you sabotage yourself by discouraging constructive discussion.
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Posted 8/6/17
If you really want to go down this route, then don't forget "whiteface" either.
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Posted 8/6/17

jtjumper wrote:
Do you agree with everything in the article?


Honestly? No, I don't. I agree with and understand points being brought up in the other article regarding actual examples of "digital blackface" such as pretending to be a black person online. Just so you can contribute to stereotypes/racism or try to deflect from actual racism.

But as far as gifs and what not goes, you're going to have to show me more solid evidence than Giphy's autocomplete and a couple tweets. Anecdotes and confirmation bias are potent drugs. I need to see an actual analysis of social media trends and metadata. Show me numbers, not feelings. I mean, I can pull 50,000+ stupid white people gifs out of Giphy and you can likely do the same with any easily identify race. You just need to know how they're actually tagged in the database. Rather than how you think people search for them.

To be completely honest, I think pulling in giphy and what not dilutes the article's argument. Because, as the thread shows, it makes it easy to characterize the entire article and dismiss it. Blackface is a powerful term with an ugly and important history behind it. Stretching it to Giphy autocomplete results dilutes that power.



MysticGon wrote:

What's that law where if you tell people not to do something everyone ends up doing it?

That'll happen with this I suspect.


The Streisand Effect. I'm not sure much will come of it here though as I don't think Teen Vogue carries a huge amount of weight in the mainstream consciousness.

On the other hand I can easily see the author herself being troll bombed because people are awful.


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