Google brainwashes Business owners with racist stereotypes

by Roro on September 30, 2014 - 5:38pm

                      In the article “Google Accused of Racial Discrimination”, Latifa demonstrates how the Internet seems to play a big role on the racial stereotypes present in our society. Latifa seems to especially focus on how Google appears to stimulate the relation between immigrant names and the stereotypical comments associated with them. Firstly, Latifa mentions that when people go on Google and search typical “black” names such as Darnell, there are numerous ads on criminal behavior compared to typical “white” names like Emma. In addition, Latifa explains how providing a greater amount of unlawful acts associated with immigrant names, creates a “racist” stereotypical aspect for business owner. As a result, since business owners will be exposed to criminal words such as “arrest” every time they search immigrant names on Google, it will be harder for immigrants to find jobs. Lastly, in contrast, Latifa explains how a Google spokesperson tried to make society understand that it is people who create the advertisements on the Internet that create these racist stereotypes, not Google. Latifa points out that that whether it is Google, or people creating advertisements that make these racial stereotypes “real” in our society, Google should be aware of this and should try to make a change. Latifa states that in conclusion, Google should be careful with the prejudice keywords being used.

 

Sa, Latifa. (2013, February 11.). Google Accused of Racial Discrimination. News Activist. Retrieved from: http://www.newsactivist.com/en/node/1210

 

                    In my opinion, this article made me see another area where “racism” is being used and gave me an explanation about how the Internet can affect immigrants searching for jobs.  As I learnt in class, ““Race, as other social categories such as class and gender, is socially constructed…but it has a social reality. This means after race – or class or gender – is created, it produces real effects on the actors racialized as “black‟ or “white‟” (Bonilla-Silva, 2006). I think this quote perfectly demonstrates what Latifa is trying to emphasize in the article because Latifa explains that when Google uses racist search engines, it affects the lives of the immigrants trying to find jobs in society.  Race is not something that is real because it is the people in our community that make this term seem so alive and they are the ones who have created this action of separating people into sub-species. In correlation to the article, I have seen that this social construction of “race” is continuing to be built on the Internet. According to Latifa, Google is the place where business owners search the names of immigrants they are thinking about hiring. Latifa makes me believe that if a business owner searches up a name such as “Darnell” on Google and witnesses the hundredths of results relating to criminal behavior, it will definitely affect their decision on either hiring a “black” man or a “white” man.

                   The strength of this article is the way Latifa gives numerous examples about how immigrants are being affected by Google’s  “racist” search engines. However, Latifa should focus a bit more on providing information like where exactly the studies are being conducted and who exactly the people cited are.  In addition, another strength Latifa shows is the way Google seems to be blamed for racial stereotypes, yet Latifa provides a response that someone from Google would say when exposed to this accusation.  A weakness that Latifa has is the lack of explanations when mentioning a study conducted or some statistics.

                 I agree with the idea that this racial stereotypical search engine on Google can definitely affect people’s appearance and reputation in the workforce. Hence, there are many companies that do research on a person before hiring them which, therefore, can influence the evaluation a business owner will produce towards an immigrant with a “bad” reputation. Another aspect that I agree with is how Google should start to relook at the advertiser’s choices of words when relating to “racism”.

 

Comments

Your post piqued my interest because I feel very strongly about how the media contributes to social issues in society. Racism is certainly one of these issues. Of course, since the internet is such a prevalent part of today’s society, I agree that it would definitely play a huge role in spreading racism. I believe that being repeatedly exposed to negative ideas associated with typical immigrant names is likely to subliminally cause individuals to start having negative preconceptions of these individuals. I completely agree that this would be a way of developing stereotypes toward racial minorities and that these stereotypes develop into real problems for the individuals since these ads are affecting their ability to acquire employment. I personally don’t think that the only reason for racism in the workforce is due to the internet but rather also from socialization in general, especially in terms of influence from within the family and the education system. But I do agree that it is undeniably a prominent factor in the matter. I also feel that you are right that Google should start considering the racist vocabulary being used in their ads and I truly think they should closely monitor their search engine for any subtle racist ideologies coming out in people’s searches. How is a globally used search engine like Google expected to satisfy all of their customers when so many of them are being targeted by racist ads? Not a good business strategy if you ask me.

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