08.20.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  3. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  4. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  5. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  7. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  8. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  9. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  10. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  12. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  13. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  15. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  17. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  18. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  20. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  22. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  23. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  24. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  26. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  27. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  28. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  30. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)


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