How viral social media memes trigger real-world violence

What responsibility should government authorities and Big Tech take in policing the spread of sedition-oriented content?

Credit: Christian Buehner on Unsplash
  • It can be hard to believe that comical images online are enough to rile people up enough that they'll actually attack.
  • Originating in the darker corners of the internet, Bugaloo is now prominent on mainstream online platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • The Network Contagion Research Institute's recent series of Contagion and Ideology Reports uses machine learning to examine how memes spread.
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Venture investors need to invest in Black-owned businesses

Less than 1% of all venture capital funding in the US is given to Black entrepreneurs. Now is the time for that to change.

Credit: Big Think
  • Abner Mason, CEO and founder of health care startup ConsejoSano, is calling for all venture capital firms in the United States to pledge to invest 13% of their funds in African American businesses.
  • Currently, Black entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding.
  • The 13% target reflects the percentage of Black Americans and is a nod to the 13th Amendment.
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How can we design schools to be anti-racist?

From reassessing the way schools are funded to changing the curriculum, there are ways to fix the inequities in education.

  • Recognizing when something is overtly racist is easy, but when it comes to education in America there is often subtle and systemic racism at play that can put children at an early disadvantage. Chris Lehman of the Science Leadership Academy says that now is the time to have these important conversations and to design schools to be anti-racist.
  • Lehman says that in Philadelphia, the amount of money spent on one child's K-12 education can be $170,000 less than that of another child who lives in the suburb just a block away. These racist systems and structures are in place in cities across the country but are often not addressed.
  • Family income directly translates to the amount spent by the public to educate children. "That's one of the most anti-American things I can imagine," Lehman says about the racial and socioeconomic inequity. While funding is a major component, changes must also be made at the curriculum level.
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What is environmental racism?

It can mean citizens drinking contaminated groundwater or being schooled in decaying buildings with asbestos problems.

Photo by bennett tobias on Unsplash
Poisoned tap water in Flint, Michigan. Toxic waste dumps in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. A town in China where 80% of children have been poisoned by old computer parts. What do these things have in common?
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Study: Black babies are less likely to die when cared for by a Black doctor

Why do Black newborns have a relatively high mortality rate in the U.S. — and how does the race of the doctor factor in?

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  • A new study examined nearly 2 million births in Florida from 1992 to 2015.
  • The results showed that, when cared more by a white doctor, Black newborns are 3 times more likely to die than white newborns.
  • The researchers said several "disturbing" factors are likely at play.
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