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How many slaves work for me? (slaveryfootprint.org)
20 points by Kliment on June 21, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I'd really like to know if they're equating low wage jobs to slavery or if they are actually talking about true slavery in which the workers are paid nothing and not allowed to leave. Because there's a big difference there.

edit: they clear it up here: http://slaveryfootprint.org/about/#methodology

Note: Forced Labor, also known as involuntary servitude, may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers made more vulnerable by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or cultural acceptance of the practice.

Wait, so people who live in areas of high unemployment with jobs are slaves? How do they define corruption? What about political conflict?

Further, if I own a laptop, and I buy 1 every 5 years, do I have all those people working for me, or do I have an average of 1 slave per 5 years etc.

While I get that they are trying to do something good, this type of "tool" is more about making people feel bad than actually doing any good.

--I will say the interface is pretty cool though.

The results are useless. It tells you that xxx slaves work for you, with xxx beeing something between 20 and 100.

This great exageration makes no sense.

What would have been usefull is the amount of slaves working for me... full time (versus "involved" as described in their methodology).

Yeah...not sure I buy it. I put pretty conservative responses and probably had a footprint smaller than the average middle-class American and still got over 20 slaves. Which doesn't really extrapolate well to the country as a whole.

What does it mean that 20 slaves work for you? Does it mean there are 20 slaves who at some point or another use products that you consume, or does it mean that there are an equivalent of 20 slaves working full-time for you (in terms of man-hours or something)? The former metric is rather meaningless since it's unclear what proportion of the labor of those 20 slaves benefits you. Is 1/1000th of their labor output? 50%? This makes a huge difference. The latter metric is meaningful, in that it would mean that you "employ" around 20 slaves. However the mathematics don't really work out in that case, since 20 slaves per person for hundreds of millions of Americans obviously doesn't make sense.

The way it's written as you point out seems to indicate that they're using the former metric, that is, the number of slaves involved in stuff you use, regardless of what proportion of their labor goes toward your lifestyle.

I think it's good to bring to light problems of slavery and unfair labour practices, but it doesn't seem at all accurate. I probably share an overall level of consumption with between 500M to 1B people.

If all of the others are our slaves, then that means an average of 6 - 13 slaves per person. But this website says I have 38. And I still have to hang up my own washing.

Here is how I know this is a vast over exaggeration!

I can’t get less than 20 slaves as an American so far:

Roughly 300,000,000 people in America

20 slaves each


6 Billion People.

That means that after accounting for americans, only 700 million people on earth aren’t slaves.

It wod explain all the freedom giving anerica spends its time and military on.

I get a "permission denied" dialog opening this page in Safari & clicking on the 'how many slave work for you' button.

Is there something weird on that page?

They're attempting to use geolocation to identify your location. Safari must be blocking it automatically (er... automagically?). FWIW, I couldn't get past that screen either, even after allowing location tracking.

content aside, loved the presentation and interactivity. the intro page's use of scroll-based animation was great. Gave me some ideas, thanks for posting.

Amazing presentation (well done there). Terrible idea.

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