My experiment with avatars and race assisted by Mandy Smith last week provoked some interesting and passionate reactions, many from people angrily denying this "proved" widespread racism exists against non-white avatars. As I've said before, an unconscious bias is not necessarily the same thing as racism, especially because everyone, no matter what race, carries our own set of unexamined biases. As I also wrote, the 2 or 3 examples a cited are hardly enough to definitively prove anything.
That's why I'm asking for your help: If you have an active Flickr account, please try this experiment -- and carefully follow these steps below to minimize the possibility of biasing the results.
- Have a large and active Flickr account -- for example, upload a least 3 images a week to over 500 followers.
- Upload an image of a white or dark-skinned avatar, then count views and favorites for a week or two.
- Do not add any comments on the image which mention an experiment or its purpose.
- Upload another image of an avatar with the opposite skin color in the exact same pose, outfit, and location. Count views and favorites for a week or two.
- Strive for the same level of visual quality in each.
- Compare results of the two images with each other, and to your usual view/favorite count.
- Report those results (with links) in Comments here!
Looking forward to the data!