My first response upon hearing about the launch of Blackbird, the new Internet browser for black folks, was, well… WTF? Oh, and then I laughed and cracked jokes. (‘Hit us up at hotep://www.postbourgie.com.’) And then I shifted in my seat and seriously considered this. (Note to self: learn to go with your first response.)
Blackbird was developed on the simple proposition that we, as the African American community, can make the Internet experience better for ourselves and, in doing so, make it better for everyone. Primarily we believe that the Blackbird application can make it easier to find African American related content on the Internet and to interact with other members of the African American community online by sharing stories, news, comments and videos via Blackbird.
In turn, we can provide you with up-to-date information about what’s hot in our community as well as news and user recommendations related to all things African American.
“All things African American”? [Insert boilerplate, eye-roll-y PostBourgie response here.]
But why is this better than using Firefox or Chrome to hit up some portal like BlackVoices or whatever? And wouldn’t Facebook/Meetup/et al make for better social organizing tools than a browser?
This is like creating a car specifically for black people so that they/we can drive to places frequented by other Negroes.* There are so many problems with the pitch that I can’t see how it could work.
Blackbird is free for you because it is supported by advertising and sponsorships. You don’t pay to use Blackbird.
I’m sorry. Are muhfuckahs paying for Internet browsers now? This seems wild condescending.
* I think these actually once existed, and they were called Cadillacs.
UPDATE: I just saw this over at ABW:
This is just my gut feeling and not based on anything but a hunch and a small experience: I think BlackBird probably tracks users’ Internet usage without telling them. Possibly even something worse.
One reason I started feeling this way is that, when I first installed BlackBird, it asked me if I wanted to make it my default browser. I told it no, it did it, anyway. When I reclaimed the defaulkt state for my regular Firefox, that took. But when I shut BlackBird down, then clicked on a link in my email, BlackBird came back, having made itself my default browser yet again.
This is not good in any way.
Yikes. Blackbird: brought to you by COINTELPRO?