Months before Ahmaud Arbery was killed, shooter Travis McMichael wrote a simple, chilling response to a Facebook post about a suspected car burglary in his Georgia neighborhood: “Arm up.”

At a time of broad reexamination of race, criminal justice and the role of technology, such online neighborhood forums in the U.S. have a troubling tendency to veer from wholesome community chitchat to anxious hypervigilance when suspicion is the discussion topic

MediaJustice’s executive director Renderos told the Los Angeles times he would like to see more transparency around the users’ demographic data to see whether they reflect the entire community, because artificial intelligence can go only so far in weeding out hate speech or violent language.

“These platforms serve as vehicles to amplify and echo a feeling that your community is under assault. There’s a way in which white vigilante-ism is praised and in a way in which Black existence is criminalized. “

Steven Renderos via the Los Angeles Times


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