Thursday, February 07, 2013



Google accused of racism after black names are 25% more likely to bring up adverts for criminal records checks

Black mothers DO often give their children fancy names and blacks ARE far more likely than whites to commit crimes of violence so the Google results are simply reflecting reality

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

A Harvard University professor found '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 per cent 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.

While most names brought back adverts for public records, typically black names were much more likely to bring back those that included the word 'arrest'.

Source


7 comments:

Stan B said...

So she stereotypes "names" as either black or white, and then complains when Google recognizes her stereotypes and offers data-backed advertising links?

Wow - isn't that what some cultural groups would call Chutzpah?

Anonymous said...

Since the majority of crime is committed by minorities and most stories involving crime searches on Google will feature those names is it any stretch of the imagination to see that the system would automatically pull up those advertisements when similar or identical names are searched for? The computer works on mathematics and logic not on feel good PC wackdoodle science.

stinky said...


The root problem is that Google treats ones as having more value than zeros. We'll never get to the root of the problem until we outlaw such fundamental inequality.

Stan B said...

stinky - you are absolutely right! What appear to be mathematical differences are so infinitesimal that they should be disregarded in an egalitarian society!

Anonymous said...

In some countries, like in Scandinavia, children can only have registered/legal names from an approved list. While that may seem to go against the freedom of parents, it is to save the children embarrassment or discrimination growing up. And some of the names chosen for "black" girls sound like a skin disease!

Anonymous said...

Since Blacks are more likely to commit crimes, it makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a recent study where people with "black" names tended to be discriminated against on job applications, even by "black" managers?