World White Web

After a long hiatus, my old blog is back up. As a starter, I’m posting my senior thesis in full, exactly as I submitted it originally. If I were to rewrite it now I would probably want to make some changes, but I figured it would make more sense to post the original since I have no reason to work on a fully updated version. If the embedded version doesn’t work, or if you don’t like it, feel free to download it here: Mauricio Maluff Masi – World White Web.

This post will hopefully be followed by some long overdue original posts.


My project was to challenge a utopian way of thinking about the Internet. This is the view that sees the Internet as somehow abstracting away from the social differences of the real world, such as race, class, and gender. I focused on the case of race to show that this view is incorrect, and that, instead, the Internet reproduces racial inequality, if in different ways. I used philosophical methods drawing on the tradition of Critical Theory to show that under the Internet’s veil of equality, the real world’s inequalities are just as present. I concluded that even when race is hidden on the Internet, race-thinking shapes the way people experience online discussion, and that when race is made visible, it is all the more visible because it is often hidden. This is because we cannot forget our lived experiences in a raced world by merely putting a screen in front of our faces. While I focused on the case of race, I hope that my critique can be extended to other social inequalities, and that my research can contribute to a larger critique of this utopian way of thinking about our virtual interactions.