Jump to content

Is Google Search intentionally contributing to racism or are their algorithms doing so? And to what can this lead?


You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 87 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

Dear readers... 

 

The question is simple.. the answer most likely not. 

Why did I come up with this question? 

When I searched for the keywords 'gay' 'kissing' 'gif' I suddenly noticed something. 

The image results were only white caucasian males kissing and an occasional caucasian lesbian kiss.

I did it again without the word 'gay' and I still got caucasian results. 

One could think it's algorithms but in my case I would like to think that is unlikely.
And also I don't know if google still remembers the algorithms created before and if they are still at work after clearing my browser cache. 

I searched for kissing people gifs before of all skin colour and  MM/MF/FF and so forth.
When I did that, specific keywords were used.
So one can then expect to find a mixed result when using basic keywords? Am I wrong to assume this.

So...
is Google Search intentionally contributing to racism or are their algorithms doing so? 

If their algorithms are doing so .. are we then psychologically influenced by our own searches and with it have our beliefs confirmed, justified and/or fundamentally fed?
Or what does this do in general to our (self)beliefs?
Or what what does it to racism..but even on a wider scale to accepting the 'unknown' (if you only see the same, something new is a potential threat, depending on your belief system)?

And...
to what can this lead? 

I quickly wrote this down to not forget (I can be chaotic.. 😛 ) 

I love to hear your thoughts/knowledge about this. 

Kind regards, 
 

Edit: grammar mistakes (might be even more 😒)

Edited by Bold Burner
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering that Google and others support a liberal agenda, I highly doubt it.   African- Americans tend to have a dimmer view of homosexuality.   I had a friend in college (black)  who was gay and was outwardly gay in his life.  But when he went home to mama it was an entirely different behavior. I asked him about it and he said, when he was home he felt he had to act differently around relatives and neighbors.

No I don't think Google is contributing to racism.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

Dear readers... 

 

The question is simple.. the answer most likely not. 

Why did I come up with this question? 

When I searched for the keywords 'gay' 'kissing' 'gif' I suddenly noticed something. 

The image results were only white caucasian males kissing and an occasional caucasian lesbian kiss.

I did it again without the word 'gay' and I still got caucasian results. 

One could think it's algorithms but in my case I would like to think that is unlikely.
And also I don't know if google still remembers the algorithms created before and if they are still at work after clearing my browser cache. 

I searched for kissing people gifs before of all skin colour and  MM/MF/FF and so forth.
When I did that, specific keywords were used.
So one can then expect to find a mixed result when using basic keywords? Am I wrong to assume this.

So...
is Google Search intentionally contributing to racism or are their algorithms doing so? 

If their algorithms are doing so .. are we then psychologically influenced by our own searches and with it have our beliefs confirmed, justified and/or fundamentally fed?
Or what does this do in general to our (self)beliefs?
Or what what does it to racism..but even on a wider scale to accepting the 'unknown' (if you only see the same, something new is a potential threat, depending on your belief system)?

And...
to what can this lead? 

I quickly wrote this down to not forget (I can be chaotic.. 😛 ) 

I love to hear your thoughts/knowledge about this. 

Kind regards, 
 

Edit: grammar mistakes (might be even more 😒)

Good you are keeping a watchful eye.

I'm happy to report I didn't have such a result -- there were loads of gay men of color kissing on the first page. Could it be browser related?  I used Firestorm for the search.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Doris Johnsky said:

African- Americans tend to have a dimmer view of homosexuality.

That has changed over the years. Don't know the stats, but I remember reading discussions on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Moondira said:

Good you are keeping a watchful eye.

I'm happy to report I didn't have such a result -- there were loads of gay men of color kissing on the first page. Could it be browser related?  I used Firestorm for the search.

I used safari and my partner used chrome. My partner has location set to 'on'. I have not. 
Thank you for adding more perspectives and tools to this personal 'research'. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

Why did I come up with this question? 

I was hoping you could answer that!

16 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

When I searched for the keywords 'gay' 'kissing' 'gif' I suddenly noticed something. 

The image results were only white caucasian males kissing and an occasional caucasian lesbian kiss.

I did it again without the word 'gay' and I still got caucasian results. 

I don't understand what you were hoping to find. Do people kiss differently? Have you tried "Black Google"? I heard there is a "Black Twitter".

 

18 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

So...
is Google Search intentionally contributing to racism or are their algorithms doing so? 

Option #3 - your interpretation is racist. 
 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I was hoping you could answer that!

I explained already. 

 

2 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I don't understand what you were hoping to find. Do people kiss differently? Have you tried "Black Google"? I heard there is a "Black Twitter".

I'm not trying to find, I'm expressing thoughts that come to my mind and want to hear about other peoples perspectives/thoughts. 

 

 

2 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Option #3 - your interpretation is racist. 

Care to elaborate on this? 

thank you for the responds. 

Edited by Bold Burner
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

I used safari and my partner used chrome. My partner has location set to 'on'. I have not. 
Thank you for adding more perspectives and tools to this personal 'research'. 

I avoid Google and Chrome like the plague.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Doris Johnsky said:

African- Americans tend to have a dimmer view of homosexuality.

Could you elaborate on this please.. and.. also...

what about the 

 

24 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

If their algorithms are doing so .. are we then psychologically influenced by our own searches and with it have our beliefs confirmed, justified and/or fundamentally fed?
Or what does this do in general to our (self)beliefs?
Or what what does it to racism..but even on a wider scale to accepting the 'unknown' (if you only see the same, something new is a potential threat, depending on your belief system)?

Possibly have thoughts about that? 

I'ld love to hear them. 

Thanks for contributing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

iPad, safari, current location on, safe search off & I searched with “show personal results” toggled on & off- same exact results.

including two scrolls of my iPad- I see men & women from multiple ethnicities.  

🤷‍♀️ Not sure why you get the results you do. 
edit- 1 scroll cause the files are to big

 

8A0545D0-D8B2-4BC2-B9F6-26DE8D1F8B29.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Pixie Kobichenko said:

iPad, safari, current location on, safe search off & I searched with “show personal results” toggled on & off- same exact results.

including two scrolls of my iPad- I see men & women from multiple ethnicities.  

🤷‍♀️ Not sure why you get the results you do. 
edit- 1 scroll cause the files are to big

 

8A0545D0-D8B2-4BC2-B9F6-26DE8D1F8B29.png

Scroll #2

3ED7D2B8-8AE3-487D-9B88-26661D16DCEE.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the problem is the 'masculine default'. "Gay" can mean MM or FF and "Lesbian" means FF, but there's not really a (commonly used) word for just MM. So statistically you would expect at least 2/3 results for "Gay" to be MM.

Similarly, the data is biased towards white people; "Important things" generally tend to focus on fair-skinned people for historical reasons I'm not at all qualified to discuss.

"Algorythms" don't magically unbias things. if anything they tend to solidify already existing biases. If you want a system to make a specific attempt at equity, you need to have it specifically and actively weight some historically-marginalized voices more than others, but that also runs into some very thorny ethical dilemmas.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I've put my research hat on.

And do you know that when I searched for "lesbians kissing" that out of hundreds of photos there was only one black couple!

Something is amiss....evil lurks and controls our world........

 

black lesbians kissing.jpg

Edited by Moondira
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Google uses what it knows about you to tailor your search results. I have work and home accounts on my Mac and get different search results on each, as I use those accounts differently. If I tunnel through a VPN to obtain an IP address in a different geographical region, I get different results.

"Gay" generally refers to men "Lesbian" to women. Hence LGBTQ.

It would, I think, take a little effort to tease apart any bias Google might have from any bias I might have, as Google is trying to reflect my biases in the search results it presents.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Moondira said:

Ok, I've put my research hat on.

And do you know that when I searched for "lesbians kissing" that out of hundreds of photos there was only one black couple!

Something is amiss....evil lurks and controls our world........

 

black lesbians kissing.jpg

Editing cause I might have messed up-

edit 2:  I did mess up, I had typed “black” & got different results- deleted that & got same results as Mondrian.

  

 

Edited by Pixie Kobichenko
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1707873184_ScreenShot2021-07-25at1_45_51PM.thumb.jpg.18aba52df499743f0c0d73f8661cec53.jpg

ETA: 60.3% of Americans are white, 13.4% are black. If there is greater homophobia within the black community, suppressing public self identification of homosexuality by blacks, it's not apparent up in the above data. In the US, black lesbians are to all lesbians as black women are to all women. I ran out of free views on Statista, but I think the numbers are about the same for males.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Algorithms and biases (racism, homophobia, etc) is a big topic in my industry right now. 

Turns out feeding algorithms data that's based on racist practices contributes to racism in the algorithm. Who woulda thunk. So it is absolutely possible for an algorithm to show things with an agenda. 

Google works a little different because Google stores so much data about you, specifically. My google image search is going to differ from yours.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

   You'll have to excuse the ignorance of a heterosexual, white man - but how is 'there aren't enough pictures of guys of colours kissing each other on the Internets' racism, exactly?

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Moondira said:

I can't figure out how to make that mistake. How do you do it?

You might have arrived here after they moved “Edit” from near “Quote” and buried it in the ellipsis menu. I’m absent minded and have years of habit to unwind.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bold Burner said:


is Google Search intentionally contributing to racism or are their algorithms doing so? 

No

2 hours ago, Bold Burner said:

If their algorithms are doing so .. are we then psychologically influenced by our own searches and with it have our beliefs confirmed, justified and/or fundamentally fed?

The algorithms aren't doing anything you're not telling them to do. Your own searches and activities are biased, every human being has biases, realized, admitted, or otherwise. Algorithms aren't inherently racist unless they're specifically created to be so. While it may seem they are fully autonomous creations of their own ilk, they really aren't as autonomous as people may believe. They are still, at their base, programs, created by human beings, biases and all.

2 hours ago, Bold Burner said:

Or what does this do in general to our (self)beliefs?

It should make you realize that your own biases have more influence on the results you might garner than you're willing to admit, because it's a program, not a person like you.

2 hours ago, Bold Burner said:

Or what what does it to racism..but even on a wider scale to accepting the 'unknown' (if you only see the same, something new is a potential threat, depending on your belief system)?

I'm not sure where you're going with this. Algorithms are not inherently racist, again, unless they are programmed or told to be so.  So, these results you get, which will likely not match the results anyone else gets, are more a reflection of your own racist tendencies and biases, if you want to attach the term racist to anything here at all.

2 hours ago, Bold Burner said:

to what can this lead?

Perhaps some personal introspection on your part, as to why you're searching for racism where it does not exist, why you're calling it racism in the first place, why your search results garner you what they do when you're actually expecting something completely different, and how you can change all of this.

It really comes down to the information you're feeding the algorithms at any given point in time. You're telling it most of what it needs to give you the results you get. If those aren't the results you expect, or desire, you're going to have to change the information you're giving it, My results are nothing like yours, at all, maybe I have less racist tendencies and biases than you do...who knows. I do know that people who look for racism anywhere, will find it anywhere, and it will definitely diminish the severity of actual racism (and thereby make it very difficult to eliminate, eradicate, hell even explain) when you perceive it and spout off about it existing where it doesn't. 

Or perhaps you just don't know how algorithms work, I really have no idea, but it sounds to me like you don't. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 87 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...