Tag It Right looks at how Internet content such as images and news are tagged, filtered and presented in social media platforms and search engines, reproducing biases and stereotypes in how we see migrants and refugees.
As a result of ideas that were workshopped at the PopChange x Platforma Youth Retreat, we’ve commissioned Liam Rickard (Welsh musician) and Amina Atiq (Yemini-Scouse artist and activist) to action their campaign proposal for Tag It Right. The team will also be mentored and supported by change.org, the Center for Encountering Digital Hate and Laura Townshed.
If you type ‘United Kingdom’ into google images what do you get? A map, the flag and a picture of Westminster. How about ‘Australia’? A map, flag and tourist icon. Now try ‘Yemen‘. The images are of war, cities in rubble and young men with rifles.
We rely on large tech organisations like Google and Facebook for a huge portion of our information. However, these companies do not equally or fairly represent migrants or the countries they come from. Wealthy, western media holds a monopoly and priority online, with the top images being pulled from news sources like BBC, Aljazeera and the New York Times. Although reliable sources, these platforms present a narrow view, based on the most newsworthy images and stories. This exposes a structural racism that homogenised and dilutes the narrative of particular regions and cultures.
Tag It Right is a campaign to shift online perspectives, allowing varied narratives and nuanced viewpoints on migration to be seen. It will call on search engines like Google to recognise and change their strategy, whilst also allowing the public to get involved and create their own content.
The activities around this campaign are designed to engage with people from a variety of communities to increase their understandings of migrants and refugees in the UK:
- Raise awareness around how search engines (such a Google) moderate content and prioritise information.
- Create an educational toolkit
- Launch a viral social media challenge