New York Council Member Blasts Facebook For Labeling Her as a ‘Chinese Restaurant Owner’

On Thursday, New York Council member Margaret Chin went on Twitter blasting Facebook for an odd notification she received on her Facebook page.

Chin is a representative of the 1st District of the New York City Council. Although Facebook is correct in labeling her as a Government Official, the fact that they also labeled her as someone who runs a “Chinese Restaurant” was odd for many. Netizens on Twitter immediately voiced their disdain and condemned Facebook.

In a separate tweet, Chin reached out to Katie Harbath, a Facebook employee who works with elected officials and politicians. Harbath responded that her office was looking into it.

Today, Chin’s team sent NextShark the following statement regarding the matter.

“This Facebook notification sends a disappointing message to users of diverse backgrounds that as long as your name sounds ‘foreign’ or ‘different,’ you will never truly belong.

While making this correction presented only a minor inconvenience, I have to wonder how many other Asian Americans and communities of color have felt marginalized, misrepresented or stereotyped – either directly or indirectly – by this technology.

Facebook holds enormous power to connect and educate people from all corners of the world. Instead of pulling us apart by enforcing dangerous biases that marginalize certain groups, Facebook’s technology should be bringing us closer together.

Asian American Pacific Heritage Month presents a special opportunity for us to recognize the struggles that Asian Americans have overcome – and continue to face – in the fight for equality and representation. I hope that Facebook can see this unfortunate alert as an opportunity to fix this problem, and rectify any other systemic gaps that reinforce harmful stereotypes.”

After taking office in 2010, Chin became the first Asian American woman to represent Chinatown on the New York City Council.

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