Equal Representation for Arabs in GIFs on GIPHY.com & Tenor.com
This petition had 25 supporters
Equal Representation for Arabs on GIPHY.com & Tenor.com
This petition aims to get GIPHY and Tenor to address their platforms’ representation biases. For those who don’t know, these websites are search engines and hosting platforms for GIFs, a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images. Once it has 10,000 signatures, we will deliver this letter to their CEOs.
Dear GIPHY CEO Alex Chung and Tenor CEO David McIntosh,
When first using your websites, GIPHY.com & tenor.com, I found them to be both fun and accessible, however I was quickly disappointed to see no ‘Arab’ suggestions or options when using the search terms ‘People’ or ‘Person’.
This is structural inequality; by not including Arabs as an option when searching ‘people’ and ‘person’ you disassociate Arabs as human beings and as a part of humanity. Your platforms are the biggest for GIFs, and because GIFs are a language of their own these days, you are basically inhibiting the inclusion of Arabs in popular conversation across the internet. This is why I saw it necessary to bring this bias to your attention. Considering the incredible influence and presence you have on the internet, it is your responsibility to represent all people equally.
To illustrate the importance of this bias, ask yourself this question:
How are we going to make progress if we don't include everyone in our path for peace and acceptance?
Arabs are represented by more than 300 million people around the planet and right now the common image of this large group is not good. They are often represented as “extremists,” “terrorists,” “uncivilized,” excessively traditional or religious. This contributes to a higher incidence rate of violence against people of Arab descent than those of many other ethnicities.  One way to combat the Arabophobia that many Arabs face daily is to show solidarity with them and other under- and misrepresented people across the globe by fairly and equally representing them on the internet.
GIFs still have a long way to go when it comes to equal representation and Arabs are not the only underrepresented group on your platforms. It is time to recognize that you hold responsibility for ensuring that GIFs become more progressive. We have emojis for same sex couples, families, other cultures and colors, and even Hijab emojis now. Where are the GIFs that reflect the same diversity?
Now, more than ever, we need to voice our support. Mobile communication is becoming more visual with 71% of smartphone users saying they use emojis, stickers or GIFs when texting or using messaging apps, according to a survey by Nielsen's Harris Poll. Though this may seem like a small step, I am convinced that equal representation in GIFs will be warmly accepted among many communities, just like the introduction of LGBT+ and Hijab emojis.
You can MAKE change happen! Sign the petition to show positive support for everyday Arabs and to help spread the message that “Equality for all is here to stay.”
GIPHY & TENOR: Will you be part of the solution, instead of the problem? Will you take a stand on inequality and misrepresentation? Will you pledge to improve the representation of all peoples on the internet by starting with your own platforms?
Your user and/or a member of the online community
Today: Aiman is counting on you
Aiman Hassani needs your help with “GIPHY CEO Alex Chung and Tenor CEO David McIntosh: Equal Representation for Arabs in GIFs on GIPHY.com & Tenor.com”. Join Aiman and 24 supporters today.