CNN was savaged on Twitter Thursday after promoting an article examining whether or not robots are racist.
“Have you ever noticed the popularity of white robots? The reason for these shades of technological white may be racism, according to new research,” CNN’s verified Twitter account wrote.
The tweet was quickly ratioed, which is the hip term for when a tweet has significantly more negative comments than it does likes and retweets. CNN’s tweet about potentially racist robots racked up nearly 10,000 comments with less than 1,200 retweets only five hours after it was sent.
The jokes were endless, with one user declaring he must not be racist because he owns a black vacuum and another noting that CNN’s logo contains white letters.
The tweet, and accompanying article, put a spotlight on the stereotype that liberals feel everything is racist.
Donald Trump Jr. even took part, writing “Hey @CNN, someone must have hacked your account. Not even you guys could come up with something so stupid.”
CNN’s article headlined, “Robot racism? Yes, says a study showing humans' biases extend to robots,” is based on research by New Zealand’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory. While many readers pondered if it was parody or satire, it wasn’t.
The article says that research indicates famous robots in films and pop culture are often “made of shiny white material” and “the reason for these shades of technological white may be racism.”
CNN noted that the study “suggests people perceive physically human-like robots to have a race and therefore apply racial stereotypes to white and black robots.”
"The bias against black robots is a result of bias against African-Americans," the study’s lead researcher told CNN. "It is amazing to see how people who had no prior interaction with robots show racial bias towards them."
The study even featured a “shooter bias test” that involved both black and white robots flashing on a screen just long enough for participants to decide if they would fire a weapon toward them.
“Black robots that were not holding weapons were shot more than the white ones not carrying guns,” the article revealed.
Thousands of users took to Twitter to mock CNN’s tweet promoting the article: