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Op-Ed: How Artificial Intelligence Could Impact Diversity In TV Writers' Rooms

Editorial Note: Opinions are the writer’s own and not those of AfroTech. Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly and deeply infiltrated our daily lives — beyond simply getting the weather from smart speakers to now taking orders at local drive-thru restaurants. AI has become a part of our day-to-day routines at a speed many of us could not have predicted. Now that the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike is well underway, along with several concerning headlines emerging about how generative AI adoption has outpaced our ethics around it, there should also be concern about how AI will continue to disrupt our media landscape — and representation in particular. Indeed, enacting parameters around the use of AI is part of the WGA strike demands, including regulating the use of AI technology to prevent AI from being used as source material, or to write/ rewrite literary material, among other tasks the technology could complete instead of actual writers. As Misa Makwakwa Masokameng...

The Black TikTok Strike Isn't About Crediting Viral Dances, It's About Protecting Black Creativity In Digital Spaces

The Black TikTok strike made headlines last month after Black creators seemingly refused to create choreography to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Sh*t” single for non-Black TikTokers to steal without giving credit. However, that wasn’t the beginning and end of the strike’s mission. In fact, the Black TikTok strike was never solely about Black creators refusing to create dances. The real reason for the strike was fueled by users who were fed up and frustrated with the way Black creativity on apps like TikTok is constantly stolen, replicated and profited off of for the benefit of others. According to TikTok influencer Erick Louis — whose viral video helped spark the beginning of the strike — he originally joined the app back in November because he saw the community being built by Black TikTokers that stirred joy, education and entertainment on the platform. However, it’s been disheartening for him to see the way Black creators are excluded and taken advantage of while TikTok does little...

Jul 28, 2021

Black TikTokers Declare An Online Boycott To Protest Against White Users Appropriating Viral Dances

Black TikTokers are fed up with not getting the credit they deserve for starting social media’s most popular dance trends. Now they’re going on an online strike to protest against white creators who steal their work. Most recently, there have been several reports that state Black creators on the video sharing platform have staged a strike refusing to make a new dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s newest TikTok-made song, “Thot S**t.” Reason being, Black TikTokers don’t want to see white creators stealing yet another dance trend from them. This past weekend, TikTok creator Erick Louis (@theericklouis) posted a video online saying that he made up a new dance to Megan’s song but before he could reveal it, text on the video said, “Sike. This app would be nothing without [Black] people.” @theericklouis If y’all do the dance pls tag me ? it’s my first dance on Tik tok and I don’t need nobody stealing/not crediting ♬ Thot Shit – Megan Thee Stallion According to Insider, other Black creators...

Jun 24, 2021

Carolina Panthers' Russell Okung Becomes First NFL Player to be Partially Paid in Bitcoin

Bitcoin is taking over the cryptocurrency world, and now it’s made its way to the National Football League. In May of 2019, previous Los Angeles Chargers player Russell Okung indicated via Twitter that he’d like to receive his yearly salary in digital currency — Bitcoin to be exact. Today, the Carolina Panthers’ offensive tackle confirmed that his request has finally been granted  after quoting his original tweet stating, “Paid in Bitcoin.” Paid in Bitcoin. — OKUNG (@RussellOkung) December 29, 2020 According to a press release from crypto startup Zap and its Strike product , Okung will be receiving half of his $13 million base salary in bitcoin for the 2020 season. Thus, making him the first player in league history to accomplish such a feat, USA Today reports. The news release also shares Okung lobbied both the Panthers and his former team to pay him in bitcoin before finding a compromise. The Panthers reportedly paid him in traditional currency and then...

Dec 29, 2020

Here's Why Amazon Workers In Minnesota Plan To Strike On Prime Day

In Minnesota, Amazon workers at a Shakopee facility are planning to strike on the first day of Prime Day. During Amazon’s annual shopping holiday, workers will stop working for six hours. Although Amazon has faced pushback from its own workers before, this will be the first time that workers in the United States have planned a protest during the company’s major sale event. For Amazon workers in Shakopee, one of the major issues is that the company regularly promotes faster delivery times — but they’re the ones who often suffer for it. One of the Shakopee employees organizing the strike, William Stolz, told Bloomberg : “Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful. We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs.” Engineers from Seattle are planning to fly in to support warehouse workers...

Jul 8, 2019