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RSN™ Special Report: How Some Academics View Scamming In Africa

The Sickening View Of Academic Apologists On Ghana Scammers!

Updated: November 2018

Meet Jenna Burrell, Associate Profession of the University of Berkeley, California. A progressive associate professor at their school of Information.

The video below represents a prevailing view amongst American Progressive Academics that is almost unbelievable in how “Young Men” in Ghana are marginalized by Western Countries. How it is Western Business and attitudes that have created the scamming culture in Ghana (and by extension throughout Africa and the Middle East).  Minimizing and apologizing for the scammers in Ghana. In summary, it’s all our fault!

According to Jenna Burrell, scamming activity is really all about overcoming stereotypes and Internet oppression. Western businesses ban African countries because of the scamming risk, but this is really just a misunderstanding – implying it is racism at work and that it is understandable that Ghana (and by implication all of African) youth rebel against these limitations through scamming.

This is one of the major reasons why these scams propagated and were so difficult to overcome. The lax attitudes that many academics and people in authority have about scammers created challenges in approaching the problem from a law enforcement perspective.  These attitudes permeated the previous U.S. administration – particularly the United States Department of State and the White House.

When you listen to this attitude and how “Poor Ghanaians” can’t get enough access tot he internet you will understand how poisonous these views can be and how certain sectors can project this distorted belief system. In their view, these “poor misunderstood youth” are only trying to get things for free to occupy their inherent curiosity and to explore the world through pen pals. These are also the views that are being taught to the current generation of our youth in the process.

Of course, in the opinion of most scam victims: we should shut all internet access off from Ghana for good, and treat them like the thieves they are!

We have found that the progressive mentality (including that of Facebook itself) typically apologizes for criminals – turning them into victims of global society. Only rarely caring about the real victims of these criminals. Sadly, a significant percentage of the population believe in this also. We routinely hear from people who disagree with our own Law & Order and Real Victim Centric views.

This is also, curiously, why we believe that no American Universities have made any real effort to understand or study the effects of these scams on their victims. Almost all research is conducted outside of the United States in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and now China.

“Jenna Burrell: Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafés of Urban Ghana”

Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana by Jenna Burrell

By Burrell, Jenna (2012) Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafes of Urban Ghana. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Link »

Summary:

An account of how young people in Ghana’s capital city adopt and adapt digital technology in the margins of the global economy.

The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country’s elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties—activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind.

Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region’s famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of “big gains” that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region.

Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.

Excerpt from her book:

The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country’s elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties–activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind. Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region’s famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of “big gains” that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region. Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.

Review Of Her Book:

In this well-written and compelling book, Burrell deftly supports her conviction that future scholarship must recognize the inconsistencies inherent in the digital experiences of those who live in the margins of our global society.

Practical Matters

An Endorsement Of Her Bo