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Blank are racist

I am inspired by this post about a Romanian campaign to change the top google search from “romanians are stupid” to “romanians are smart.”

It got me thinking about other top google searches.

Like Americans…

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Apparently Americans are dumb but definitely not stupid.

And French…

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And Mexicans…

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With hesitation I tried Africans…

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But what about making it more specific?

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I started thinking about generalizations and how people lump together Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern though they are all obviously describing different things (religion, language, and geographic region.) But how does that compare to google searches?

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Surprisingly Muslims ARE NOT terrorists, middle easterners ARE terrorists, but middle easterners and Arabs ARE white. I was pleasantly surprised that the word Arab did not conjure up negative results but unfortunately middle easterner and Muslim did.

However, is it fair to use google searches as indications of what the population thinks of these groups? Almost all of the google searches were negative comments whether it was concerning Americans or Middle Easterners. It seems people are only inspired to discuss or rant about issues that are negative or angry. Is this really being racist if you are mean about everyone? Maybe it is equal opportunity racism…

3 thoughts on “Blank are racist

  1. This reminds me of a blog post by danah boyd, “Guilt Through Algorithmic Association.” She describes a high school student whose name is Mohammad Abdullah. He is the subject of bullying and prejudice at school and classmates repeatedly submit Google searches consisting of “Mohammad Abdullah al Queda.” “Google’s search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like “Al Qaeda” as the next term in relation to your name…. You know that you have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but Google gives the impression that you do. And people are drawing that conclusion. You write to Google but nothing comes of it. What do you do?”

    “This is guilt through algorithmic association. It’s one thing to be slandered by another person on a website, on a blog, in comments. It’s another to have your reputation slandered by computer algorithms…. Guilt through algorithmic association is not constrained to Google. This is an issue for any and all systems that learn from people and convey collective “intelligence” back to users.”

    http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/09/12/guilt-through-algorithmic-association.html

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  3. this is really cool. i`ll link your blog.

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