Elle Germany has recently come under fire after publishing a “racially insensitive” issue. The November 2019 issue contains a tagline reading “black is back” along with a feature of models of color. Furthermore, there’s a photo of a black woman against the wrong person’s name, so the publication was accused that they “can’t actually tell models apart.”
ImageNet, one of the largest publicly accessible online databases of photos, is removing 600,000 images from its system. In other words, that’s as many as half of the 1.5 million images in its “person” categories. The decision came after an art project ImageNetRoulette revealed racist and gender bias that underlines ImageNet’s artificial intelligence.
Vogue Italia has recently published a cover featuring Gigi Hadid that caused quite a stir. The model appeared with overly-darkened skin, causing the public to accuse Vogue Italia and photographer Steven Klein of racism. It has gone so far, that even Hadid herself has apologized for the controversial cover, explaining that she had no control over the final result.
Now, more than ever, racism is a touchy subject. National Geographic’s April issue is being devoted entirely to the subject of race. Naturally, this is going to upset a lot of people. No matter what one’s thoughts on the subject, somebody’s going to be upset by those thoughts and opinions. But National Geographic is holding their hand up and taking responsibility for their own actions.
They challenged John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia to investigate the history of their own coverage of “people of color” in the USA and around the world. Now, National Geographic editor in chief, Susan Goldberg, admits “our coverage was racist“, and that needs to be acknowledged before they can move forward.
Have you ever thought food photos can be racist? Neither have I. But Portland-based food photographer Celeste Noche declares Instagram food photography to be exactly this – “racist”. In the podcast on The Racist Sandwich, she addresses the issues of racism, as well as gender and class division in Instagram food photography. As a Filipino, she feels that Asian cuisine is represented in a racist way. I always thought food shots are just food shots, but Celeste gives quite an interesting point of view analyzing these photos.
Google apparently is not the most politically-correct mind on the planet. As a recent incident with the Google Photos app illustrates, the artificial intelligence engine is still learning…and making giant mistakes along the way.
Computer programmer and hobbyist photographer Jacky Alciné recently tweeted, “Google Photos, y’all f@#ked up. My friend’s not a gorilla,” along with a screen shot. Jacky had uploaded a photo of himself and a friend to Google Photos, and the automatic tagging feature got it completely wrong.
Photographer Jay Trinidad was on his way home when he came across a man wearing a red armband, proudly displaying the Nazi swastika at Seattle’s downtown ferry dock.
His initial reaction was to walk away from the situation, but he decided to return and capture the image that has people wondering what’s wrong with our society.
As if walking around parading Nazi symbols isn’t bad enough, this person was out and about sharing his hatred just one day after the Charleston massacre, “basically sticking his middle finger up to everyone who could see him”.
Perhaps this photograph will open peoples’ eyes to how messed up things are.