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Search Systems & Algorithmic Bias

Search Engines & "Algorithms of Oppression"

People tend to think of technology and search engines like Google as neutral and unbiased. But technologies and search engine algorithms reflect larger societal biases. Safiya Umoja Noble (now at the UCLA Department of Information Studies) has dug into these "algorithms of oppression." In this video she gives a quick description of her work and why it matters. 

Video: Algorithms of Oppression: Safiya Umoja Noble (USC Annenberg)


In this next video Noble explains how search engine results are often influenced by companies that "game" the system, paying money for their results to appear among the first search results.

Video: Your Search Engine Results Could be Perpetuating Racism (Thrive Global)

Potential Dangers in Search Engine Biases

Societal biases can be reflected in search engine results and in search engine features like auto-suggested searches. This video discusses how Google search suggestions were one influencing factor in Dylan Roof's unsettling move toward white supremacy.

Video: The Miseducation of Dylan Roof (Southern Poverty Law Center)