Black to square one: Google still hasn’t fixed its racial ...


Black to square one: Google still hasn’t fixed its racial stereotyping

It still links searches for black, Asian and Latina girls to porn 10 years after the issue was flagged, raising fresh worries about 'algorithms of oppression'

Avi Asher-Schapiro

Nearly a decade has passed since Safiya Noble Googled “black girls” and found the search results were mostly pornographic — a discovery that drove her to explore how algorithms can perpetuate discrimination and inequality.

Google went on to fix that search engine issue, but Noble said the problem is far from solved. Research in 2020 found Google’s advertising platform linked the search phrases “black girls,” “Latina girls,” and “Asian Girls” to adult content ads.

“The Black girl search is the thread on the sweater we are trying to unravel. It's a way into a larger conversation about the future of knowledge,” said Noble, who spoke on a digital rights panel at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference on Wednesday...

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