Thursday, February 7, 2013

Google has been accused of racism after linking names usually associated with black people to adverts related to criminality

A Harvard University professor found what she considers to be significant discrimination after comparing the adverts which appear when searching a typically black name compared with those for typically white names. Findings showed that names typically associated with black people were 25% more likely to bring up adverts related to criminality. The study by Latanya Sweeney contrasted online searches using names such as Ebony and DeShawn, with those such as Jill and Geoffrey. She found that adverts posted alongside search results for names likely to belong to black people were more likely to offer services like background checks for arrests and criminal records. Searches using white-sounding names were less likely to result in advert results which suggested criminality, Professor Sweeney’s research indicated. Maybe if blacks committed fewer crimes than Google would not be so "racist"?

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