On April 14 and 15, the Global Editors Network (GEN) organised a hackathon in Bengaluru as part of its international Editors Lab programme. Over 10 teams — representing both print and digital media organisations based in Bengaluru — participated in the two-day hackathon.
Each three-member team comprised of a journalist, a developer, and a designer, and the aim was for newsrooms to build new tools to better evaluate and analyse gender inequalities and monitor law enforcement. As the brief put it, “How can the media create more awareness on these issues and empower women by giving them better access to information, support and justice?”
The FactorDaily team — made up of our culture editor Shrabonti, design head Nikhil, and developer Animesh — won the hackathon with their ‘Uncleji Meter’ — a tool to fight sexism on social media
The FactorDaily team — made up of our culture editor Shrabonti, design head Nikhil, and developer Animesh — won the hackathon with their ‘Uncleji Meter’ — a tool to fight sexism on social media.
So what does the Uncleji Meter do, and why do we need it? The problem with casual sexism is it often justifies bad conduct by men in a patriarchal society. For instance, when misogynist and sexist jokes are normalised, and even justified by people because “come on, it’s just a joke!” it leads to the acceptance of sexist and misogynist behaviour in real life.
To address this, the team felt it was important to make people who share content on social media engage a little deeply with the content, so that they can see the biases embedded in jokes. To do that, they created an online quiz widget that invites users to take a fun personality quiz so that they can decide where they fall on the “Uncleji Meter” — ‘Unclejis’ being (mostly) elderly men who as a demographic are suddenly very active on social media, especially WhatsApp. They love to share sexist jokes. ‘Unceji’ is also used as a euphemism for anyone, male or female, who thinks casual sexism is ok.
“We feel that the ‘media’ is not just what editors and journalists tell readers, but in the age of social media, it is also overwhelmingly about peer-to-peer sharing of views, opinions, attitudes and biases” — the FactorDaily team
The quiz aims to make people engage more deeply with the content they share, instead of reflexively forwarding it, in order to create awareness about gender stereotyping — all this is done through a fun, pop-culture infused quiz. “We feel that the ‘media’ is not just what editors and journalists tell readers, but in the age of social media, it is also overwhelmingly about peer-to-peer sharing of views, opinions, attitudes and biases. That is why we chose to look at social media sharing of content rather than pure ‘journalistic’ content as part of this project,” the team explained in its presentation.
So go ahead, check where you fall on the Uncleji Meter — and cheer the FactorDaily team as it makes its way to Vienna to participate in the Global Editors Lab hackathon during the 2017 GEN Summit in Vienna.
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Lead image: Global Editors Network Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.