Out in the real world, few people would proudly proclaim that they are racists. On the internet, things are different: The anonymity of the online world makes it easier for people to express racist viewpoints and make observations that they might feel too embarrassed to share in the offline world.
Peer pressure is doing its damndest to stamp out racism out in the real world. Now, through the power of ridicule and peer pressure, the internet has taken up the fight online. Here are five sites that have thrown themselves into battle:
1.) I'm Not Racist But (notracistbut.com) is a website that collects examples of racism from all over Facebook. The statuses are taken from actual Facebook users, although names are hidden. The examples show that just saying "I am not racist" is not enough to make it true.
2.) Racism: No Way (racismnoway.com.au) is an Australian site, but its message and resources can be applied to any community that is experiencing the effects of racism. The site includes teaching resources for a range of ages and grades, as well as other sources that discuss ways to fight back against prejudice and stereotyping.
3.) Racialicious (racialicious.com) is a blog that explores issues of racism in pop culture. The blog links to current articles and asks important questions about the portrayal of race in the media, focusing on both explicit and subtle problems.
4.) A Little Racist (@alittleracist) is a Twitter account that collects racist Tweets and quotes from around the web. Although the account is controversial and attracts plenty of aggression, it helps to expose many different examples of racism, from all types of people. Interestingly, they also track the statistics of all the racism they find on Twitter. Did you know, for example, that on average, females who tweeted something racist misspell 6.73 per cent of their words?
5.) Colorlines (colorlines.com) is a site that collects news and offers commentary about racial justice issues. It has existed since 1998 and focuses on everything from pop culture to breaking news. The site offers a way for its contributors and commenters to discuss issues of race openly, critically and respectfully.
Although sites like these illustrate the fact that there are many people fighting against racism and turning the Internet into a powerful tool for change, there are still many obstacles and challenges to overcome. If you fancy stepping up, I'm sure the above could all do with some extra exposure: Tweet, Facebook or email your favourite anti-racist site to all your friends and enemies!