Is there something problematic about white people using brown-skinned emojis? Before apparently disappearing from the internet altogether, Munkacsy gave an interview promoting his e-book, Wanda Exposed, to Kernel, the online magazine founded by a pre-Breitbart Milo Yiannopoulos. And, yes, that would include deliberately using the wrong colour emoji. Their attempts at confronting even overt racial harassment on their platforms have been laughable at best, yet leading gif database GIPHY says it, at least, is already taking the phenomenon seriously. The online popularity of images of black people — particularly women and femme gay men — is a fact of internet life and, in recent months, an increasingly controversial one. Shafiqah Hudson, a Philadelphia-based writer and academic, first noticed the phenomenon back in the mids in a comment thread on an article about police brutality. Or just a run-of-the-mill money-making scam?
Katelynn. Age: 26.
The article never uses the word blackface, nor does it question Munkacsy on his use of racist and sexist stereotypes, but it does offer some useful insight into the methods and motivations behind instances of digital blackface.
Karla. Age: 32.
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Are gifs being used to disseminate racist stereotypes in cyberspace? And what about the Black Lives Matter Facebook fundraising page that was revealed to be run by two unaffiliated white men in Australia? Or just a run-of-the-mill money-making scam? Was this the latest iteration of digital blackface in action?