Helen Purves All you need to know about Helen Purves. And, indeed, much more.


An open letter to Facebook regarding diversity

It's pretty hard (maybe impossible: I couldn't be bothered looking all that much) to find an email address for Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook.  Plus I have stuff and things to do.  Therefore, this is an open letter.  I imagine Mark is one of the half dozen or so readers I have on here (if you include the US government, which I do), so I have no doubt he'll read it.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg,

First of all, thanks for Facebook.  It may be a superb platform for advertisers to attempt to sell me wedding rings and baby clothes (much to the dismay of my boyfriend) but it's also a superb platform for me to create fatuous events, judge ex-school friends and mouth off about how much I hate Mondays/enjoy pastrami sandwiches/am addicted to Kellogg's cereal.Facebook adverts

However, as a disabled person, I have a major problem with your service.  I have been studying my friends list and am appalled to see that Facebook has major diversity issues.  Out of 291 friends, I found that:

- Only 18 are black, asian or of mixed race
- A mere 11 are disabled
- Only four are ginger
- The vast majority are middle class atheists
- Over half work in the web/broadcast industry, like me
- One friend is in actual fact a 2 year old dachshund
- According to their avatars, several have regressed back to infancy
- Many people are not friends but are in fact family

I find it reprehensible that so many of my Facebook friends are boring, white and comfortably-off - exactly like myself, in fact.  It is almost as though the list of people shown as "Friends" reflects my relatively sheltered upbringing in rural Lincolnshire and subsequent career in the media.  I look forward to the swift resolution of this issue.


Helen Purves

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