2011-01-13 / Local & State

For Minorities, New ‘Digital Divide’ Seen

By Jesse Washington

UNDATED (AP) – When the personal computer revolution began decades ago, Latinos and blacks were much less likely to use one of the marvelous new machines.

Later, those groups also had less access to the Internet and slower online connections placing them on the wrong side of the “digital divide.’’

Today, as mobile technology puts computers in our pockets, Latinos and blacks are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things.

But some see a new “digital divide’’ emerging with Latinos and blacks being challenged by more, not less, access to technology. It’s tough to fill out a job application on a cell phone, for example.

Researchers have noticed signs of segregation online that perpetuate divisions in the physical world. And blacks and Latinos may be using their increased Web access more for entertainment than empowerment.

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