Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

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9781479849949: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
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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.

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About the Author:

Safiya Umoja Noble is is Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication. Noble is the co-editor of two books, The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design.

Review:

"Safiya Noble has produced an outstanding book that raises clear alarms about the ways Google quietly shapes our lives, minds, and attitudes. Noble writes with urgency and clarity. This book is essential for anyone hoping to understand our current information ecosystem." (Siva Vaidhyanathan,Author of The Googlization of Everything ― and Why We Should Worry)

"Noble demolishes the popular assumption that Google is a values-free tool with no agenda...She astutely questions the wisdom of turning so much of our data and intellectual capital over to a corporate monopoly.Nobles study should prompt some soul-searching about our reliance on commercial search engines and about digital social equity." (STARRED Booklist)

"A good read for anyone interested in how bias can be expressed by lines of code. Even those already familiar with the issues will find new insight in the connections and impact Noble outlines. The book is accessible even to those who are not well-versed in the technology of search engines." (The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion)

"All search results are not created equal. Through deft analyses of software, society, and superiority, Noble exposes both the motivations and mathematics that make a & technologically redlined internet. Read this book to understand how supposedly race neutral zeros and ones simply dont add up." (Matthew W. Hughey,Author of White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race)

"Nobles thesis is a new tune in the ever-louder chorus that, in light of the dominance of the big tech companies, is singing for 'protections and attention that work in service of the public'." (The Financial Times)

"[P]resents convincing evidence of the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of search engine[s].A thought-provoking, well-researched work." (Library Journal)

"Noble makes a strong case that present technologies and search engines are not just imperfect, but they enact actual harm to people and communities." (Popmatters.com)

"

Algorithms of Oppression succeeds as a critical intervention, one with a clear commitment to engaged scholarship that should lead to policy changes as well as changes in a field too white, American and male. For readers of this journal, the book is a powerful example of the vital contributions of Black Feminist
Technology Studies... Noble demonstrates that engaged, intersectional and accessible writing can and indeed does make a difference.

" (The International Journal of Press/Politics)

"Noble offers a compelling look into the structure of digitized informationmost of it driven by advertising revenueand how it perpetuates racist assumptions and ideologies." (Pacific Standard)

"Algorithms of Oppression offers a sobering portrait of the impact of our reliance on quick, freely accessible searches. Foregrounding her discussion in the context of the technological mechanisms and decision-makers that drive results, Noble forces the reader to confront the rarely discussed risks and long-term costs associated with easy-to-access, corporate-sponsored information." (Teachers College Record)

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781479849949

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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. Seller Inventory # LHB9781479849949

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