When the Crowd is Racist at Google
I am torn by this issue, and admire Google’s consistency and transparency about it
By: David Weinberger
Nov. 25, 2009 07:30 AM
If you search Google Images for “Michelle Obama” (no quotes), the first image you’ll see is a poorly photoshopped picture of her as an ape.
You’ll also see a Google Ad on that page that links to Google’s explanation of why such a blatantly racist photo is the top-ranked one at Google Images. It says, after assuring us that Google does not endorse such images: “Search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Internet. A site’s ranking in Google’s search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page’s relevance to a given query.”
I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, Google is taking a principled stand by not inserting its own political/cultural views into its engine. It’s also avoiding an endless squabble if it were to start hand-manipulating the results.
On the other hand:
Although the bulk of this post argues against Google’s position, let me say again that I am torn by this issue, and admire Google’s consistency and transparency about it.
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Latest Cloud Developer Stories
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
Most Read This Week