I came across this very interesting post this morning by Sandra Ordonez, writing in Mashable: Search Stereotypes: What Web Content Reveals About Cultural Biases.
The article describes the way that Sylvia Martinez set about reclaiming the search term ‘Latina’ for the mainstream. She did this by creating an online space which allowed (amongst other things) people to use the term in a positive way, and by creating all this new content, sought to rebalance the context in which the term appears in search results.
This got me to thinking.
We’ve been used to the idea that we can monitor key terms for our work, and challenge any misconceptions by responding with a friendly but more accurate post/ tweet. But what if we can take this further, and use the combined postings of our networks to, over time, rebalance prevailing negative views? Then, with more accurate information out there, the more likely it is that someone searching for ‘drug addiction’ or ‘bereavement’ or ‘cancer’ will find something that is actually worth them reading.
For those of you who manage online communities, what do you think?