The internet has become the largest influencer of culture; but visuals on the internet still lack diversity.
With more images on the internet coming from Unsplash than any other source, it's time to lead a fundamental - much overdue - change to the platform and bring underrepresented perspectives to the forefront of the open photography movement.
Current under-represented areas in the internet’s visual library include body positivity, cultures and ethnicities, disability, feminism, the gender divide and the LGBTQ2S+ community.
This community is already doing amazing things to create more inclusion on the internet and we want to build on that momentum. Like Montreal-based inclusive modelling agency, Good Faces.
"The goal of the Good Faces Unsplash account is to increase representation in stock photography, marketing and the advertising industry. We should not overlook the importance of inclusivity, especially when you search terms as commonplace as “love”, “work” or “happiness”. Stereotypes exist because images are powerful, but we can equally use our cameras and skills for good.”
- Mia Liamani, Founder of Good Faces
What we're doing to make a lasting change
We have been trying to find a balance between taking action to actively promote diversity versus letting the library solely reflect what images are being resonated with (aka downloaded) more.
We can’t control the content that is submitted to Unsplash, but we can do our very best to encourage and promote diversity. We need your help to make this positive change.
Where to start? We are inviting our community to submit to one of four topics lacking in diversity: ''Family', 'Friends', 'Work' or 'Relationships'. This is to ensure that the Unsplash photo library becomes a more accurate reflection of what the world looks like today.
In addition to encouraging more diverse submissions, to combat the societal biases that AI perpetuates in Search, we are making some tweaks to our algorithm by featuring more diverse and inclusive photos at the top of search.
“From an admin perspective, diversity flags can be added to a specific search term, which would then add that data to feed our algorithm. One of the exciting parts of our diversity functionality is the community aspect. We wanted to ensure that the idea of diversity wasn’t siloed in the hands of a single admin or group of admins. As we know a model is as good as its input - a diverse library means honing into the knowledge and perspective of different people. This is an ongoing project and we're currently evaluating what is not working and what the next iteration should look like.“ — Roberta Doyle, Unsplash API Engineer
How you can help
- Submit images to the new 'Family', 'Friends', 'Work' or 'Relationships' topics. These will be open until September 30th.
- Submit any photos you’ve shot that meet our Submission Guidelines.
- Don’t have any new photos to submit but want to get involved? Go back through photos you’ve already submitted and add relevant tags.
- Learn how to properly tag people in photos here.
- Consider sharing this call to action with others who want to work towards better inclusion. That might be a colleague, friend, charity, community or organization.
How we’re celebrating inclusion on the site
Select photos submitted in the four topics will be featured at the top of search and showcased in the 'Photo of the Day' on the homepage.
Let’s celebrate the expanding movement of generous photographers that share their visuals freely with others, and create a more inclusive internet this year.