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Wal-Mart Web Site Makes Racial Connections

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posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 02:51 AM
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Wal-Mart Web Site Makes Racial Connections

Wal-Mart apologized yesterday after its retail Web site directed potential buyers of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Planet of the Apes" DVDs to also consider purchasing DVDs with African American themes.

The world's largest retailer said in a statement that it was "heartsick" over the racially offensive grouping and that the site was linking "seemingly random combinations of titles."

"It's just simply not working correctly," said Mona Williams, vice president of corporate communications for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.



The article continues with...



The company said it was alerted to the problem early yesterday afternoon after word began spreading among bloggers. When visitors to Walmart.com requested "Planet of the Apes: The Complete TV Series" on DVD, four other movies were recommended under the heading "Similar Items." Those films included "Martin Luther King: I Have A Dream/Assassination of MLK" and "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson."

Williams said similar titles were called up when the DVD of the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was requested. There were three such combinations involving those two movies and African Americans films, she said...

Like most other major retail sites, including Amazon.com, Wal-Mart's site directs users searching for movies to other titles that might interest them; Wal-Mart calls the process "mapping." Wal-Mart said last night that the system was malfunctioning but did not explain why or how...



Isn't this "mapping" really just tagging???
If it is, then it would mean that the associations were wilful, and that nothing was really screwy with their software as they suggest.

Makes you wonder if it was just a rogue employee or truly an approved association by management. Given Walmart's history on race relations, this doesn't look very good for them.

Ouch!


[edit on 6-1-2006 by loam]




posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 03:20 AM
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Now this is funny. So you search for Planet of Apes and you will recieve also M. Luther King.
.
Anyway I highly doubt this was intentional by Walmart. Such software works completely automatic linking the items the same people search for.



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 03:26 AM
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That being the case, it gives you a quick look at how many closet racist there are walking around.


Cug

posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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I'm gona get fried here but...

One of the main underlining topics of the Planet of the Apes movies is the stupidity of racism and intolerance. So it's not that far fetched to be related to some other African American topics.



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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.....darn

this just shows how widespread institusional racism still is.


Its just so disgusting to think the companies we buy are goods from are the racists corparations so readily assault.

Just shows,in this day and age you can-"Trust No1"

It makes me sick



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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It could have been an mistake, but i think it might have to do with film descriptions I.E. POTA could be 'A heart warming story of the struggle between....' and MLK could be 'A story about the struggle against....'. so therfor they could have been linked by accedent.

Just my thoughts.



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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so someone must've programmed the thing to pick up the words chocolate and Ape to be related to african americans.
wierd.

"You ordered Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

"We also suggest:
Black to the Future"



posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Just remember where Wal-marts' home office is located. Arkansas.

Plenty of "good ole boys" live in Arkansas and subtle racism is expressed everywhere.

Expect sales on targeted DVDs. I'll leave it up to you as to the titles.



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