Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The whiteness of Google search results

To make Spanish vocabulary flashcards with Anki, I look up images using Google Mexico (google.com.mx). When I need images of people, as I did today for the word "subir" (to go up, as in up the stairs), it strikes me again and again how the people in the pictures are overwhelmingly white. The effective (but unintended?) default of a web search using the world's main search engine gives me images of white people going down stairs (or, with another word I searched for this morning, "viuda", images of white widows). If for some reason you doubt the world's biases, pay attention to your search results: they'll reveal those biases to you. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 22 August 2023)

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