Why Googling ‘white American doctor’ shows image results of black doctors
If one explicitly searches Google for “white American doctors,” images of African American docs pop up instead.
But the internet search engine giant hasn’t been hacked by activists, nor is there any big conspiracy, though it did spark a recent viral conversation on Twitter.
Last week, Twitter user @_TheProphecy opened the conversation by tweeting,”Lmaooo idk who hacked the Google algorithm but I am crying. Google ‘White American doctor’ & press image.”
Responses in the now-viral thread showed that nearly every search of a profession with “white American” produced photographs of black people doing that specific job. Claims of possible bias promptly racked up.
However, Danny Sullivan, Google’s “public search liaison,” had already explained this phenomenon last year on Twitter, saying the race that appears has to do more with the text or specific words people use when they initially post images.
“… As it turns out, when people post images of white couples, they tend to say only ‘couples’ & not provide a race,” Sullivan continued. “But when there are mixed couples, then ‘white’ gets mentioned. Our image search depends [heavily on] words — so when we don’t get the words, this can happen.”
According to Search Engine Journal, this is all due to the basics of search engine optimization or SEO.
“Google is like a mirror. It reflects how we use search engines and how the content on web pages are written. This is at the heart of the keyword research, understanding what users mean when they type something and how often they type those words … The takeaway for these search engine results is how much influence text has on an image ranking.”
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article