Algorithms of Oppression
How Search Engines Reinforce RacismBook - 2018
A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms
Run a Google search for "black girls"--what will you find? "Big Booty" and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in "white girls," the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about "why black women are so sassy" or "why black women are so angry" presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society.
In Algorithms of Oppression , Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.
Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance--operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond--understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.
An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.
From Library Staff
This is a physical book, and the only edition/format available. It is not holdable at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you can place a hold or add to your "for later" shelf. Recommended by BLM B-Town (1 in list description).
Overdue_Finds Dec 22, 2019
Dr. Safiya Noble visited Edmonton in 2019 to talk about her research from this book that looks at the digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology design.
Noble takes on the digital divide with a radically fresh perspective. It's not just about access—disparity exists in the way that technology works too.
EPLPicks Mar 15, 2018
Safiya Noble’s book reminds us that technology is not neutral. Think a Google search is straightforward? Noble will have you questioning that simple search box. We see a different search result depending on who we are (or at least who Google thinks we are). Eye-opening and important.