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"How many slaves work for you?" Race, new media, and neoliberal consumer activism

Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


This article analyzes the website, which purports to measure consumers’ reliance on slave labor in the Global South by analyzing the users’ consumption habits. The site offers neoliberal consumer solutions to "solve" the problem of what it terms modern-day slavery. I argue that the characterization of slavery on (and the process of de-fetishizing this labor) attempts to shore up a distinction between "free" and forced labor, but unwittingly illuminates the ambiguity of this divide. By understanding slavery as embedded in capitalism, I suggest that we can challenge’s distinction between "free" labor and slavery, and in the process, the notion of "ethical" consumption.