EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.20.20

IBM Never Apologised For Making Billions Out of Overt Racism, Now It Wants to Ban Words Used to Communicate Such Issues and It’s Bombarding Journalists to Seed Misleading Puff Pieces

Posted in Deception, IBM at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: IBM Racism Explained by an Insider (IBM also made lots of money from the literal bombarding of people)

IBM on race
Sent last night at the end of the working day (US)

Summary: For the purpose of denial of their harsh past (even very recent past), which is embarrassing, IBM managers try to paint themselves as champions of diversity who heroically battle against racism (even as they continue to profit from racism)

DURING the summer we wrote more than a dozen articles on an important topic, notably the idea that racism would be a thing of the past if only we banned a few words or replaced them with something else. That’s the very corporate vision of ‘activism’, as bombing is profitable and changing words is cheap. Very, very cheap.

“That’s the very corporate vision of ‘activism’, as bombing is profitable and changing words is cheap. Very, very cheap.”Later today IBM will be planting lots of puff pieces as part of a new PR offensive intended to portray itself as the opposite of what it really is. So watch out.

Even IBM insiders formally complained in a petition: “We are disappointed that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers’ core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.”

IBM is not BLM

IBM staff isn’t stupid. They can sense and can research these matters. IBM is googlebombing the World Wide Web, hoping actual information will be harder to find (drowned out by shallow PR).

As it turns out, IBM has hired external PR agencies to act as middlemen and ‘reach out’ to people with sites/blogs, including myself.

This is their template, which they sent me hours ago (screenshot at the top, including the part which attempts to prevent me taking about it):

Hi Roy,

This summer has seen a long overdue reckoning on race in America. While it’s easy to point out obvious racist language like the “whites only” signs once posted outside restaurants and public pools, we are only beginning to unravel the more insidious forms of racist language still embedded in our culture today.

For instance, tech engineers often use the terms “master/slave” to describe components in which one device controls another. Suspicious websites that may steal your data are put on a “blacklist,” and malicious hackers who violate computer security are known as “black hats.” Now is the time to cut out racist language in all its forms, and IBM is proud to take action to bring change to the IT community.

As part of a group of social justice efforts known as Emb(race), the *IBM Academy of Technology launched an internal initiative to identify and replace IT terminology that promotes racial and cultural bias.* In partnership with our style and diversity councils, IBM will conduct a thorough evaluation of each term that has been flagged for review, and in some cases recommend an unbiased replacement term. IBM’s goal is to promote inclusive language in IT and to provide opportunities for our employees to work together towards this goal.

Are you interested in learning more about Emb(race) and IBM’s initiative to eradicate racist IT terminology? Let me know and I would be happy to connect you with Tim Humphrey, VP and Chief Data Officer at IBM for an interview.

Best,

Michael

This isn’t the first time they try this on us (gagging us while asking for puff pieces). If only they spent on anti-racism as much as they spend on PR agencies…

IBM logo on media

Sniffing around the IBM sites, I soon discovered that this campaign kicked off yesterday. IBM wants us to think that a form of censorship will tackle racism — an oversimplistic if not idealistic viewpoint.

“If only they spent on anti-racism as much as they spend on PR agencies..”Yesterday I asked them: “Why are you contacting me specifically about this?”

My assumption was that it was possibly a targeted attempt to shift the public debate, under the headline “IBM Launches Initiative to Erase Racist Language in IT Industry…”

Is it always racist though? Or are they making racist assumptions about the meaning of words? See, it’s not always (in all cases) as simple as they try to frame it.

We discussed this a few hours ago in IRC. People from different geographic locations and demographics…

Originally I thought I would take the offer to conduct this interview, warn them in advance about my questions being tough, then ask about Jamaica, Mr. Watson’s Nazi medal, Ginni’s relationship with Donald Trump (we covered this before), Modi’s ties to Krishna etc. (even racism and a highly divisive leadership in India is perfectly fine with the new CEO).

“IBM wants us to think that a form of censorship will tackle racism — an oversimplistic if not idealistic viewpoint.”Basically, using an interview that’s live (not predictable to the answerer) we could point out to them how silly and shallow they are, not to mention hypocritical. In the US, for example, they had an NYPD project that backfired spectacularly when the media found out about it. Then, for a number of weeks IBM constantly bombarded the media to distract from the bad press. They were making money by helping cops flag people by colour… and only months ago (years later) they finally withdrew from it.

The intent of this new campaign is obvious. They obviously want people to stop talking about racism at IBM.

Alexei asked: “Is it racist how poorly terms like “denylist” translate into other languages?”

Alexei is based near Saint Petersburg. English is not his first language. Over the past few months, I saw in online forums people who mention that in some Slavic countries with other languages, folks have a different interpretation of the proposed terms. “Of course they probably won’t bother and just use the local equivalent of “blacklist”,” Alexei said, “but that raises the question of whether there was anything wrong with it in the first place. [...] though maybe a simple adjective can do like “запретный список”, but “a forbidden list” doesn’t sound like it’s the contents that are forbidden…”

“I had pointed that out,” he said, “and that Ukrainian would have even a harder time than Russian for lacking a certain form of participle that Russian loaned from OCS.”

“The intent of this new campaign is obvious. They obviously want people to stop talking about racism at IBM.”“oiaohm” from Australia then explained: “deny list generally translates well if you include the space. Deny by most translated [languages] comes Denial [sic] then Denial is translated. So Denial List and deny list are fairly close on meaning.”

We could lay out profound issues such as eugenics, nukes, and other things IBM profited from. Suddenly these debates about words seem like a distraction. Alexei suggested “чёрный список”, or “a list that is black, simple…”

“oiaohm” said, “remember not all usages of black align to bad. Few languages have 20 words for black. Deny though translating at worst leads to 2 words in any language. Black can take you as wide as 400 different words. [...] The issue I am talking about you can see with google translate. I cannot remember the direct 20 wide. But if you go to google translate and put in black as english and lao you will see 5 different spelling for black with the same define. Deny gets you 2. Basically translating documents around between languages black can end up with a mess of different spelling so black so making searching for black harder.”

There are typically issues with suggested alternatives, too. “Maybe it could be translated like “список отказов”,” Alexei wrote, “but that’s more like a list of rejections, not the right connotation at all. I still haven’t come up with a good translation for it [...] It’s tough. It has an implicit ambiguity built into it, it works that around by English being generally vague with its terms.”

“A denylist,” Alexei later added, “is it a list that was denied, a list of denies? what’s a deny?”

“Notice how a discussion of ethics and morality in the context of race is being reduced to words rather than actual substance?”“oiaohm” said “deny is in fact a common word to most languages.” MinceR joked that “[the word] “deny” is the new name of the color that used to be known as “black”…”

Alexei suggested “список того, что было запрещено, it’s as simple as that, a list of such that was forbidden. With a participle it can go down to “список запрещённого”… “deny” has a nasty property of implying something instantaneous [...] While a blacklist is something more permanent…”

Regardless of what words or concepts are turned into, those are not going to stop, or cause racism on their own.

Alexei said that “if “blacklist” is deemed racist, then it’s a bit hypocritical to expect other languages to continue using it when it’s the most neat form there is for them.”

Notice how a discussion of ethics and morality in the context of race is being reduced to words rather than actual substance? There will be a lot more in the IRC logs (tomorrow morning), but we’d rather debate IBM’s past and present, not the latest PR blog post.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 21, 2020



  2. Living Humbly (With Older Technology or None) is More Compatible With Privacy- and Freedom-Respecting Technological Lifestyle

    Simplicity sometimes trumps so-called 'novelty', especially when it comes to human rights and users' freedom



  3. Reasons Why You (and Everybody Else) Should Join the Fight for Software Freedom

    Society is being closely watched and controlled (more so during/after the latest pandemic) and people must carefully consider the true importance of resisting proprietary technology (controlled remotely by state actors)



  4. Ways and Means to Reduce One's Dependency on Google's Various Monopolies and Near-Monopolies

    Getting rid of Google means a lot more than embracing DumbDumbGo (DDG) or some other sites that spy just like Google; we're taking stock of some options



  5. The European Commission is Still M.I.A. Regarding EPO Corruption (and the EPO's Management Plays Dirty, as Always)

    There's no change in the EU; the EUIPO and EPO enjoy complete and total immunity/impunity, with the Commission being manned by those who are deeply complicit



  6. 10 Reasons Why All This 'Edge for Linux' Coverage is a Total Farce

    The fake hype surrounding "Edge" is an inauthentic hype/buzz campaign made to coincide with anti-Google sentiments spread by Microsoft front/pressure groups



  7. Microsoft's IIS Has Collapsed Again This Past Month (and IIS Will Not and Cannot Survive This Way)

    Netcraft shows that Microsoft's decline further accelerates in the Web servers space; IIS is becoming financially unviable



  8. Links 21/10/2020: Alpine 3.12.1, Tor Browser 10.0.2

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] US Department of Justice Should Have Taken on Microsoft Again, Not Google

    When lobbying, connections and political sway determine the actions of the American government it's hardly surprising that Bill Gates gets the Trump administration to fight for him (to make him even richer)



  10. [Meme] Banning Words, Gaslighting Volunteers

    What happens when institutions are themselves in violation of a CoC (institutional violation) and massive corporations that fund such institutional violations are defending demonisation of the individual (squashing ‘uncomfortable’ voices, even volunteers’)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 20, 2020



  12. Links 21/10/2020: $8000 GNU/Linux Desktop, Tails 4.12, Open Infrastructure Foundation and Firefox Release

    Links for the day



  13. Never Feed the Internet Trolls, No Matter How Tempting It Becomes

    The tactics for removing critics of abuse (by framing them as "abusive") have evolved a lot in recent years; the best course of action is to never entertain provocateurs in any way whatsoever (just ignore them, give them no attention which they crave and feed on)



  14. Bill Gates: “I'm Not a Lawyer” (He Dropped Out of College, Where He Studied Law Before and After Breaking the Law Chronically)

    How Microsoft blackmailed other companies into supporting nothing but Microsoft and Windows; Bill Gates repeatedly lied to the interrogators about it, then said "I'm not a lawyer" (IANAL) even though he went to college to become one, just like his father who died last month



  15. Microsoft Has Not Changed Since Being Investigated (and Prosecuted) for Crimes at a Federal Level

    The media keeps telling us a bunch of worthless junk about Gates "saving the world" and Microsoft becoming a "nice" and "gentle" (or "soft") company, but nothing could be further from the truth



  16. Stick a Fork in the Open Source Initiative (OSI). OSI is Dead. Microsoft Bought OSI.

    OSI leadership proudly showing early signs of 'prognosis negative'; the OSI can never and will never recover from this; Microsoft killed it



  17. Links 20/10/2020: OpenZFS 2.0 RC4 and Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0

    Links for the day



  18. People With God Complex Must Never be Allowed in Positions of Power

    The attack on Linus Torvalds — an attack which at his own expense/peril he fails to recognise/acknowledge — seeks to put both projects that he founded right in Microsoft’s palm



  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 19, 2020



  20. Corporate Media: GNU/Linux Can Only Succeed If/When Microsoft Dominates Everything Inside It

    The corporate takeover (or handover) of GNU/Linux would not have been possible without complicity of corruptible (bribed) media



  21. Bill Gates Explains How Microsoft and Apple Leverage Software Patents in Their Cross-Licensing Deals (to Perpetuate Duopoly/Shared Monopoly)

    A look back at Apple's and Microsoft's use or misuse of bogus software patents in bargaining (in effect excluding those who have not amassed tens of thousands of patents)



  22. Standards and Choices

    GNU/Linux is a very standards-based platform; having lots of choices (e.g. distros to choose from) isn’t the principal problem — or nowhere near the extent sabotage and illegal tactics by Microsoft have been



  23. IBM's “Emb(RACE)” Campaign is an Insult to History and Historians

    IBM wishes to be seen as some heroic saviour and warrior for black girls; this requires serious if not torturous revisionism to be believed



  24. There Are Too Many Types of Cars...

    "Choice is malicious," say the antagonists



  25. Reversal of Narratives by Internet Trolls (Spinning Reaction to Their Trolling as 'Abuse')

    Organisations that engage in demonisation of people (typically those who expose the abuses of such organisations) somehow evade the standards of Codes of Conduct, as if Codes of Conduct are covertly designed not to protect individuals but to empower those who already have all the powers (or front for powerful people/corporations)



  26. Ongoing (Albeit Secret) Campaign of Patent Extortion Against GNU/Linux Distributions Using Software Patents, Even Expired Ones in Europe

    GNU/Linux distros attacked by software patents, even in Europe where no such patents are supposed to exist (or have any legal bearing)



  27. Links 19/10/2020: Linux 5.9-ck1/MuQSS, Linux Kodachi 7.3

    Links for the day



  28. Java's James Gosling is Wrong. Free Software Advocates Never Suggested or Insinuated That Money-Making Was Ethically Wrong.

    The honorable James Gosling mischaracterises the stance of Free software advocacy, portraying it like it is an issue of money rather than respect for users



  29. Maybe This is What Codes of Conduct Were Made for? Or to Prevent? (Updated)

    When people bemoan the abuse they receive from a so-called 'anti-harassment' team (covering up corporate corruption in a project by ousting people) this is the kind of thing they receive from colleagues or former colleagues



  30. Media Contradicts Itself, Redefines Proprietary Software as 'Open'... for Microsoft

    Proprietary GitHub is being spun as Microsoft going "open" (nothing could be further from the truth) in another EEE-type move with diffusion and confusion


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts