Excerpt from this article:
If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you’ve probably noticed people with brackets around their name.
If not, it basically looks like this: ((( Ashitha Nagesh )))
There’s a reason for this – and it’s not immediately obvious.
People are adding the brackets – known as ‘echoes’ – to their names as part of an online anti-racist movement.
Commenting on an article of this title that found that “fictional guests set up by the researchers with names like Lakisha or Rasheed were roughly 16% less likely to be accepted than identical guests with names like Brent or Kristen,” a blogger describes how:
Three times, I’ve had requests to stay at a place denied only to find the space still listed as available hours later. Two of those times, I asked @triciawang to make inquiries at those same spaces to see what would happen and both times she was told to go ahead and book. (Obviously I didn’t take them because who wants to stay at the home of someone who doesn’t want you to?)
As a result, I’ve used @airbnb a lot less over the past two years. I still book on the site occasionally but more often I’ll either have the other (white) people I’m traveling with book the airbnb for us or I avoid the service entirely and stay at hotels.
As this article says, “a computer science educator from Virginia didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he snagged the @JohnLewis username on Twitter”:
Lewis, who describes himself as a “computer science educator, father of four, social liberal, atheist and not a retail store,” receives numerous messages every day from mistaken Twitter users asking him about discounts, making complaints, and talking about the shop’s Christmas advert.
… A lesser man would change his handle, set his account to private, or abandon Twitter entirely – but not Lewis.
Multiple times a day he takes it upon himself to reply and correct people mistaking him for the shop, turning himself into something of a Twitter celebrity.
He’s so popular, in fact, that some people have accused him of being a fictional marketing character created by the retail giant – but could John Lewis really be that clever?
Update, December 2, 2015: Here’s a fun article where John Lewis (the retailer) has sent John Lewis (the @JohnLewis guy) a telescope to thank him for being such a good sport.