It never cases to amaze me, the student reactions when I share an image for the Atlas of Prejudice site. I am unclear if the students get that it is satirical. While not The Onion or The Colbert Report, it should not be taken seriously and yet students seem to do so. They are concerned that the figures shared only fuel our own worst tendencies. Specifically, they point out that social media shares divorce the maps from the original context, a collection of figures that are intended to mock the official statements about countries and mocking geopolitical actors as well.
Don’t get me wrong, these are texts that deserve study. I would love to see the patterns of sharing across the globe, given that Yanko Tsvetkov has had his books translated into multiple languages. But what are the uses of these maps? Do they actually reinforce stereotypes or do they merely tap into our worst tendencies?