I don’t have any real data, but my limited experience as a content creator tells me a little bit about the problem.

I haven’t yet written an article about this phenomenon but I’ve been intending to. I can produce a story for Medium and promote it heavily on social media and get a fairly predictable response. I pretty much know how much response I’m going to get based on the title and photos I used to promote the content.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a distinct problem that isn’t getting better. If I illustrate a story with photos of black people instead of white people, I get a very noticeably smaller view rate and read ratio.

I’ve gone back over stories for the past 3 years and noticed the effect is consistent and significant.

I don’t have the data to generalize my experience to anyone else’s, but I can imagine if that effect holds true even a little bit across the board, then creatives are going to be motivated to continue providing content about white queer people and not Black queer people.

I work consciously to avoid that kind of thought process, but many of the choices we make in life are unconscious. Like most content providers, I rely on a certain income from my creative work, so am I entirely immune to marketing considerations? Probably not.

This problem is systemic and exists across US society. Fixing it is going to take serious, concerted, conscious effort from creatives across a broad swathe of media and platforms.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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