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


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2 hours ago, Jordan Whitt said:

I am so tired of everything being racist, -phobic or whatever the trending Lefty "let's be offended by this" term is of the moment.

Sheesh whatever happened to live and let live?

I love these sort of statements. I guess we are to pretend that "righties" aren't also so easily offended and don't go into a tizzy at the mere topic of race nor scurry for their "Not Woke and Proud" shirts at the mere mention of anything Black.

I think we can do better as a society at live and let live when people stop with divisive comments and dropping in their dog whistle statements.

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2 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

What the hell is wrong with you, Tari?!

 

Oh so very much. I could fill the national library and still not scratch the surface ;) 

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45 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

I'm thinking the OP fundamentally misunderstands how tailored search engine algorithms work (and assumes that google forgets who you are the moment a different browser or incognito tab is used).

Most likely, yes. 

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I figured I'd wait to see how doolally this got before I chipped in with my two cents.

Here's my...colored take on it:

Might there be a lack of black men kissing when you input "gay" "kiss" and "gif" because in that particular instance,  gifs (mostly) come from movies and TV shows. Might it also factor in that there aren't many movies or TV shows that have two black gay men in it? I mean...there's no black version of Brokeback Mountain. Might it also factor in that not many bothered to make a gif of two black men kissing?

But when I put in gay kiss, this was in there:

Pin on roMANcing

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29 minutes ago, Tari Landar said:

Most likely, yes. 

 

1 hour ago, Coffee Pancake said:

I'm thinking the OP fundamentally misunderstands how tailored search engine algorithms work (and assumes that google forgets who you are the moment a different browser or incognito tab is used).

You can be sure... as I already mentioned that myself. 

Quote

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.

 
It's also only part of what I was interested in to hear thoughts about.

I also asked your (plural) thoughts about the effect of this in the long run. 
In that light I woke up this morning and with a strong cup of coffee I am reading this article and it's sub article/links. 

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/02/08/code-dependent-pros-and-cons-of-the-algorithm-age/

I will try to react to some replies on a later point in time after I gained more knowledge. 


Thank you all for the inputs I truly appreciate them. :)


 

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It's been dubbed the Filter Bubble. In grossly simplified terms, internet searches and social media (the important part) will adjust your results based on your data, interests and interactions.

If for example you search for cat pictures all week, the moment you then search for the Persian Shah, you might be a bit confused why you're getting a cat food brand as a result.

Search engines use a wide variety of data for this. Basically anything they can get. Icecream flavours? On the list. TV Shows? On the list. Hygiene products? On the list. Your kinks and interests in porn searches? You bet. Location and household information? Aye! In a general use case, this privacy violation improves search results by a considerable margin.

It allows the engines to provide you with results that fit, to have this magical moment where you slam in "song with the screeching witch woman" and Google finds just the right result even though that's not anywhere near enough information by itself. It makes things more usable.

 

Now what it does for society is a bit the issue of the hour. Above Filter Bubble link goes into it already but in my personal opinion: It reinforces biases. If you're constantly searching for social activism, your results will be tailored to keep you coming back. There is no malice in this, it is trying to give you what you want. Socially however, it creates Echo Chambers. For example, based on data it might sort you into woke or right wing cultural corners and then guide you to those circles.

Again there is no malice behind that. People with common interests are more likely to interact and be amicable with another. Replace woke and right wing with cats, video games, food, cars, whatever. If you've got a strong inclination towards something, you will get results throughout tailored to that. Community and friend suggestions, brand offerings, videos on YouTube, yup.

In effect this has lead to the extremely unkind online environment of the now, where extreme online echo chambers create firm us vs them narratives as all information is automatically tailored towards that.

The algorithms give us what we want and it turns out, that might be tribalism.

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Posted (edited)

In between coffee and breakfast I also did a search on 7 different search engines but on one browser (safari in this case). 

I do think some of the search engines belong to the same company, but I know too little about that. 


The results are interesting. The only search engine I use is google the others were used for the first time today (except duck to go, which I've used briefly (read a week or so)  in the past on another computer).

I hope you can all see the images in the folder I share here. 

WARNING: though I used safe search some results are explicit. 

https://gyazo.com/collections/41474317547f79f9675a820a18393396

and now I'm back to reading that article I mentioned earlier.. 

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the results in the cases of the new search engines are not based on my past search history? 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, ValKalAstra said:

It's been dubbed the Filter Bubble. In grossly simplified terms, internet searches and social media (the important part) will adjust your results based on your data, interests and interactions.

thank you for educating. 

Also how does that filter bubble come to play in new search engines that I've never used before (read post above me). 


 

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Sometimes I wish for a search engine that has a 'without Americans' (and a 'without anything made in China) option.

I'm not a nationalist, but I am anti-nationalist at times.

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8 hours ago, Finite said:

That's essentially what the OP is asking but not how is it, but is it or is it contributing.

   Because, usually, racism stems from lines of reasoning such as: 'I did an online search for men kissing men, and because there were fewer men of colour in the pictures, people of colour are inferior to/less worth than white people'?

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22 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the results in the cases of the new search engines are not based on my past search history? 

Sadly, yes and no. It's complicated. Did you clear cookies/cache, change your IP, modified your browser fingerprint, mask your location data and...

6 minutes ago, Anna Nova said:

Sometimes I wish for a search engine that has a 'without Americans' (and a 'without anything made in China) option.

You can. In a way. You can tell the search engine to limit the results to websites from a certain region.

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35 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   Because, usually, racism stems from lines of reasoning such as: 'I did an online search for men kissing men, and because there were fewer men of colour in the pictures, people of colour are inferior to/less worth than white people'?

I guess you missed the part that it was a question. I thought it was an interesting question. Granted his reasoning for the question was flawed judging by others results. I was just pointing out your “why ask why”. Why not ask? I’m afraid to do my own search. If I had to guess my results would be gay aliens on a space ship half way to Mars making out to Jeff Goldblum DJ’ing dubstep in the background.

 

Edited by Finite
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I believe Google uses both text found on the website where the image is located and A.I. to 'look' at the image and add searchable 'tags'. They have some software called an 'image classifier' which is a cloud based AI. It sounds like what we played with in a previous thread. My guess is that more white gay men have posted pictures of themselves kissing than men of color. They may write more descriptive text to go along with their photos. Also, the AI may not be all that great at recognizing race.

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There's another factor that you don't seem to be taking into account. All your searches are for "GIF's". Essentially, the only thing that GIF's are used for these days are for animated "mini-movies", which are most commonly cut out of movies or television shows. Therefore, the possible types of GIF will be influenced by the available movies or television shows with gay kisses, and that's going to skew your results. If you're trying to make a study of images, you should use less specialized image formats or not specify a format at all.

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16 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

There's another factor that you don't seem to be taking into account. All your searches are for "GIF's". Essentially, the only thing that GIF's are used for these days are for animated "mini-movies", which are most commonly cut out of movies or television shows. Therefore, the possible types of GIF will be influenced by the available movies or television shows with gay kisses, and that's going to skew your results. If you're trying to make a study of images, you should use less specialized image formats or not specify a format at all.

tried without the gif.. same results. 

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20 minutes ago, Bold Burner said:

tried without the gif.. same results. 

Theresa Tennyson nods and smiles.

Of course you did.

Because when I made the search for "gay kissing" on Google literally the first image was two Black men kissing.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gay+kissing&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjMwcaLxIDyAhVOB50JHe7pAMwQ_AUoAnoECAEQBA&biw=1227&bih=706

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5 hours ago, Finite said:

I love these sort of statements. I guess we are to pretend that "righties" aren't also so easily offended and don't go into a tizzy at the mere topic of race nor scurry for their "Not Woke and Proud" shirts at the mere mention of anything Black.

I think we can do better as a society at live and let live when people stop with divisive comments and dropping in their dog whistle statements.

No tizzies being thrown here.  

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My last 2 cents for now... 

I've learned already a whole lot thanks to your thoughts and the articles that arose from this post. 

Current conclusion:
I don't think google is intentionally contributing to racism at this point with the information I gathered. 
The other part about what algorithms and what they possible can mean for the future also got answered mainly a  link I read about it. I feel wiser. 

I"m appreciative of you all sharing your thoughts and with it increasing my knowledge and that of others. 

Please keep discussing as new things might pop that could be of interest. 

Warm regards to all! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
 

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I don't know how relevant this is, but a few months ago I got the Face App and took some selfies to play with.

The "pretty me up" effect whitened my (already relatively fair) skin to alabaster. The "make me gain weight" and "make me a man" effects darkened my skin, in fact they made me Indian. 

I deleted the app because it made me so uneasy. I don't think it was intentionally designed to be racist but something about the data it goes on gives very disquieting results.

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There are other types of bias that can turn up in algorithms. Languages have varying amount of default coding for the sex of a person they're talking about.

In English we tend to encode the sex of a person when using a polite title or a pronoun.

With most "European" languages the sex information will also be encoded in things like job titles and adjectives.

And in Japanese, there is almost no sex coding at all - the most common polite title, "-san", is gender-neutral and pronouns are seldom used and usually gender-neutral as well.

Automatic translation programs will attempt to inject this information into the target language when it's missing from the original based on the most common uses.

Now let's take a case of a female doctor writing a prescription for a female patient. If this is translated from English to a "European" language the doctor will probably become male. If it's translated from Japanese to English the patient will probably become male. And from Japanese to the "European" language, both will probably become male.

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50 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

With most "European" languages the sex information will also be encoded in things like job titles and adjectives.

   There's a progress of attempting to undo that, in some cases.

   In Swedish we have words such as 'polisman', 'brandman', and 'sjuksköterska' ('police man', 'fire man', 'sick-tender-ess' i.e. 'nurse'). Suggested alternatives have been .. Peculiar. Like, 'brandhandläggare'. Which .. Basically means 'fire desk jockey' (or, word by word, 'fire-hand-layer', but a 'handläggare' is usually an administrative goon doing bureaucratic whatnots .. Also it's actually also still grammatically masculine, with the female equivalent being 'handläggerska' which, whilst not used, ever, so .. Bleh? Suffice to say there were some complaints from the actual fire-fighters .. No one's mentioned going back to 'brandsoldat' ('fire soldier') which is considered a rather archaic term these days, but which is technically gender-neutral as, well, there's no word for a female soldier .. Because there didn't use to be any, and the whole idea was probably quite inconceivable until relatively recently).

   English is a bit of an oddball within the Germanic language branch for not having them. How it looks over in the Romance branch I have no idea .. As for the Finno-Ugric branch .. 

   English: A dog. The dog. Two dogs.
   Swedish: Hund. Hunden. Hundar. Hundarna.
   German: Der Hund, ein Hund, zwei Hunde, den Hund, einen Hund, dem Hund, einem Hund, des Hundes, eines Hundes, den Hunden, der Hunden.
   Finnish: Koira, koiran, koiraa, koiran again, koirassa, koirasta, koiraan, koiralla, koiralta, koiralle, koirana, koiraksi, koiratta, koirineen, koirin, koirasi, koirani, koiransa, koiramme, koiranne, koiraani, koiraasi, koiraansa, koiraamme, koiraanne, koirassani, koirassasi, koirassansa, koirassamme, koirassanne, koirastani, koirastasi, koirastansa, koirastamme, koirastanne, koirallani, koirallasi, koirallansa, koirallamme, koirallanne, koiranani, koiranasi, koiranansa, koiranamme, koirananne, koirakseni, koiraksesi, koiraksensa, koiraksemme, koiraksenne, koirattani, koirattasi, koirattansa, koirattamme, koirattanne, koirineni, koirinesi, koirinensa, koirinemme, koirinenne, koirakaan, koirankaan, koiraakaan, koirassakaan, koirastakaan, koiraankaan, koirallakaan, koiraltakaan, koirallekaan, koiranakaan, koiraksikaan, koirattakaan, koirineenkaan, koirinkaan, koirako, koiranko, koiraako, koirassako, koirastako, koiraanko, koirallako, koiraltako, koiralleko, koiranako, koiraksiko, koirattako, koirineenko, koirinko, koirasikaan, koiranikaan, koiransakaan, koirammekaan, koirannekaan, koiraanikaan, koiraasikaan, koiraansakaan, koiraammekaan, koiraannekaan, koirassanikaan, koirassasikaan, koirassansakaan, koirassammekaan, koirassannekaan, koirastanikaan, koirastasikaan, koirastansakaan, koirastammekaan, koirastannekaan, koirallanikaan, koirallasikaan, koirallansakaan, koirallammekaan, koirallannekaan, koirananikaan, koiranasikaan, koiranansakaan, koiranammekaan, koiranannekaan, koiraksenikaan, koiraksesikaan, koiraksensakaan, koiraksemmekaan, koiraksennekaan, koirattanikaan, koirattasikaan, koirattansakaan, koirattammekaan, koirattannekaan, koirinenikaan, koirinesikaan, koirinensakaan, koirinemmekaan, koirinennekaan, koirasiko, koiraniko, koiransako, koirammeko, koiranneko, koiraaniko, koiraasiko, koiraansako, koiraammeko, koiraanneko, koirassaniko, koirassasiko, koirassansako, koirassammeko, koirassanneko, koirastaniko, koirastasiko, koirastansako, koirastammeko, koirastanneko, koirallaniko, koirallasiko, koirallansako, koirallammeko, koirallanneko, koirananiko, koiranasiko, koiranansako, koiranammeko, koirananneko, koirakseniko, koiraksesiko, koiraksensako, koiraksemmeko, koiraksenneko, koirattaniko, koirattasiko, koirattansako, koirattammeko, koirattanneko, koirineniko, koirinesiko, koirinensako, koirinemmeko, koirinenneko, koirasikaanko, koiranikaanko, koiransakaanko, koirammekaanko, koirannekaanko, koiraanikaanko, koiraasikaanko, koiraansakaanko, koiraammekaanko, koiraannekaanko, koirassanikaanko, koirassasikaanko, koirassansakaanko, koirassammekaanko, koirassannekaanko, koirastanikaanko, koirastasikaanko, koirastansakaanko, koirastammekaanko, koirastannekaanko, koirallanikaanko, koirallasikaanko, koirallansakaanko, koirallammekaanko, koirallannekaanko, koirananikaanko, koiranasikaanko, koiranansakaanko, koiranammekaanko, koiranannekaanko, koiraksenikaanko, koiraksesikaanko, koiraksensakaanko, koiraksemmekaanko, koiraksennekaanko, koirattanikaanko, koirattasikaanko, koirattansakaanko, koirattammekaanko, koirattannekaanko, koirinenikaanko, koirinesikaanko, koirinensakaanko, koirinemmekaanko, koirinennekaanko, koirasikokaan, koiranikokaan, koiransakokaan, koirammekokaan, koirannekokaan, koiraanikokaan, koiraasikokaan, koiraansakokaan, koiraammekokaan, koiraannekokaan, koirassanikokaan, koirassasikokaan, koirassansakokaan, koirassammekokaan, koirassannekokaan, koirastanikokaan, koirastasikokaan, koirastansakokaan, koirastammekokaan, koirastannekokaan, koirallanikokaan, koirallasikokaan, koirallansakokaan, koirallammekokaan, koirallannekokaan, koirananikokaan, koiranasikokaan, koiranansakokaan, koiranammekokaan, koiranannekokaan, koiraksenikokaan, koiraksesikokaan, koiraksensakokaan, koiraksemmekokaan, koiraksennekokaan, koirattanikokaan, koirattasikokaan, koirattansakokaan, koirattammekokaan, koirattannekokaan, koirinenikokaan, koirinesikokaan, koirinensakokaan, koirinemmekokaan, koirinennekokaan ...

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1 hour ago, Janet Voxel said:

I love litmus test threads....wooo la-la-lalalala!

   But it's so confusing 'cause the 'Murrican red is blue and the European blue is the other way around, and just like milk that one might guess is super-alkaline because it's so mellow, it's actually slightly sour .. Wait, I lost the metaphor along the way. 

   Anyway. Drink milk. It's good for you.

200.gif

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