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Touch Screen

In the early days of the internet (and I’m talking pre-millenium here) we used to while away a dull moment in the office by googlewhacking. Typing in 2 words to see if we could find a combination that resulted in just one return. These days with the proliferation of data it’s almost impossible – in English anyway. But if you speak one of the 5,870 languages that you can’t Google search then you are effectively excluded from the information age.

In 2011 the UN declared access to the internet as a basic human right. Yet the pool of information on the web looks very different from one language to the next. Giving different answers to the same question depending on how you ask it. Dividing rather than uniting us.

How does it feel when you can’t read something that others take for granted? Well judging by the most common question from viewers of ‘Touch Screen’ at the Bloomsbury festival I’d say frustrating.

Want to know more? These are a couple of articles that might help you get started from the Guardian and the WE forum:

  1. http://labs.theguardian.com/digital-language-divide/
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/12/chart-of-the-day-the-internet-has-a-language-diversity-problem/

Published by jencableart

Jen Cable is a mixed media textile artist who loves to draw attention to the outmoded, fabulous, awful and bizarre aspects of culture and everyday society

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