Technology makes us all equal. Technology is a great leveler. Technology brings us together, the term Global Village was realized only through technology. Everyone can enjoy benefits of new technologies regardless of their location, gender or race.
While most of it is true, technology is above racialism but some apps are blatantly ignore these great values. Some of these famous apps commit the ugly act of discrimination. You will realize that they are not even trying to hide it.
Let us all come together in rejecting discrimination and show the truth about these apps.
It charges premium users extra based on their ages.
Tinder is the dating app for people who don’t like reading a lot and make decisions based on their genitals and hormones. Tinder lets you reject (swipe left) or accept (swipe right) purely based on how good the user’s profile picture is. Because of course, who cares what kind of person they are, what they like, is there compatibility – we just want to know if they are hot enough.
In 2015, Tinder introduced an extra premium service called Tinder Plus. You got various benefits but there was a money bracket. This is where blatant discrimination comes in. Tinder charged $9.99 per month to users under 30 and significantly higher $19.99 to people over 30.
The CEO said the pricing policy considers the fact that young people generally have less money. But that is ridiculous. The clear strategy is to benefit from fears of 30+ single people who tend to get more insecure as the years set in.
Uber and Lyft
Drivers have found a sneaky way to discriminate against African-American passengers and get downright creepy with female passengers.
Uber and Lyft are car riding apps in which anyone can enlist him or herself as a driver and start picking up rides. It is a more efficient form of taxi service where user only has to install an app and order rides from phone. The nearest driver gets a notification and comes to pick you up within minutes. This is a great service but for one thing; especially in United States, racism and creepy gender discrimination.
Over the years this problem has become common. According to a study conducted by Swift Contract Phones, 1500 rides were compared in Seattle and Boston at random times. It was found out that 35% of riders that involved African-American passengers (can be identified from name, picture, area and even accent) got delayed in getting picked.
Some drivers sneakily went to the wrong pickup point so the African-American passenger can cancel the ride in frustration.
Moreover, it has been discovered that rides that involve female passengers somehow take more time to conclude. Drivers take longer routes, sometimes passing same intersection twice to try and chat up their passengers.
AirBNB users are openly racist when renting our properties to people. African-Americans, Muslims, homosexuals and transgender people, all are discriminated against.
As a renter or rentee, you are very likely to face discrimination if you are using AirBNB platform. If you are renting out your place, it is believed that you have to ask for 12% less than a white person, even if the location or property is similar. Otherwise you will not get many responses.
Similarly, if you wish to rent someone’s property, there is every chance they will cancel the booking upon learning you are not white. It’s not just the color of your skin, sometimes it is religion or good ol’ homophobia.
According to travel journalist Raffat Ali, he has been rejected a lot of times for being a Muslim. In another example a man showed interest in renting a house. When asked by the owner what his purpose for being in town was, the man replied he wanted to attend Pride festival. His application was cancelled with the owner saying [and we quote], “No LGBT people, please. I do not support people who are against humanity. Sorry.”
Mobile game companies
Almost all mobile game companies take advantage of addicted people and make money out of it.
Smartphones have become an essence of our modern lives, we all have them, use them and cannot live without them. Essentially, whenever we have spare time, we open our smartphones screens. Whether we are on bus or waiting for the doctor to say “next please”, we tend to spend our free moments glued to mobile phones. The most common activity we do on smartphones is to play games.
Game manufacturers have realized how addictive mobile gaming is, and you guess it; they have created an ingenious ways to make money out of it. When you are playing Candy Crush, there are some levels you cannot seem to overcome if you don’t have well… extra premium paid help. Almost all gaming franchises are charging users after a certain level. But this is not all.
These gaming companies work with companies that specialize in creating algorithms to show how “addicted” you are to smartphone games. Based on your addiction they charge you differently. If you seem to play a particular game a lot, every day, the gaming company will charge you say $150 for a special power that will help you complete the level. Now since you are addicted, you will pay the asking price and move on. If they determine you are not addicted enough, you might leave the game if you are asked for huge sums of money, they will charge you only a few bucks.
SketchFactor was asking to be a disaster. Thankfully the app is now defunct but not before it raised some serious eyebrows and made some money as well. The app was created by two white millennials named Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington. The idea was to indicate what areas of a particular city were “sketchy” – marketing was done around safety but the parameters were race and life-style.
The app was created to prevent people from accidently landing into unsafe neighborhoods. Needless to say the “sketchy” neighborhoods were often non-white, low income places.
The crime data was not incorporated in the app. What made a neighborhood sketchy was how a white millennial would see life outside his rich happy bubble.
Do you have any apps you think are discriminating, please let us know me the comment section or email me at nuur.hasan(@)gloria9.com