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

Doubtful. No one from Google has ever been seen at a tea party rally. :)

“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.”

Read more at the Daily Mail.

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

  1. My position remains thus: If someone else’s race is important to you, then you are a racist.
    If she is so sure of her idea, why can’t she produce copies of Google’s alleged lists of ‘racially suggestive names’? Or at least publish her own lists of names which allegedly elicited a statistically significant number of hits?

    • You can be a racist (or perceived as such) even if someone else’s race is not important to you. Case in point: when I first arrived in the Midwest, I was appalled by the dangerous condition of the rail tracks. Most had not been maintained in decades, with poor or non-existent drainage, splashing destroying the ballast, loose ties, lost sakes, rails bending under load well into their fatigue zone, and, of course, a steady stream of derailings reported in the news. I shared my observations with colleagues at work and they told me it was a well-recognised problem. An acute shortage of workforce, they told me. I mentioned that where I came from, there was no shortage of workforce in rail maintenance. True, able men did not like the job, but there always were many enough able-bodied women willing to do it, and prisoners were also used on occasion.

      When my buddies (half of whom were black men) heard me mention prisoners, they convulsed with laughter. They said, “Just imagine a gang of black dudes in chains swinging hammers on a railroad. That kind of show will never be allowed in this country.”

  2. Well, it’s obviously no fair using “Orenthal” as one of the search terms….

  3. Tadchem,
    I take it one step further. I only recognize one race of sentient beings on this planet: homo sapiens. So how can anybody be racist? Who cares about trivial regional variations? They mean nothing.

    • There are distinct races in all animals, including primates, and they enhance segregationist mating choices forming a loop acting to promote genetic diversity. That’s how we end up with a peacock’s tail or with a cranium that does not fit in the birth canal without a complicated twist.

      The diversity due to segregationist behaviour (which is unlikely to disappear any time soon) can reach the point when not all of us are the same species anymore. Look up examples of “ring species” for more insights.

      Where no races exist initially, they are created from scratch by enhancing totally accidental diversity (such as the kind of song you sing).

  4. I don’t know about Google and racism, but this study causes schadenfreude.

  5. She stereotyped names as “black” or “white,” then got mad when Google, using data-based algorithms, responded in kind.

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