#threeblackteenagers Reveals Online Search Habits

The resulting images from a Google search for “Three Black Teenagers” are mugshots.

Screenshot_2016-04-04-12-41-28

The images vastly differ from a Google search for “Three White Teenagers.”

Screenshot_2016-04-04-12-42-33

These differences between the results led to the hashtag #threeblackteenagers on Facebook and Twitter, where users asked Google to address the possibility of racism.

A Google search of three black teenagers versus three black teenagers caused outrage, which led to the hashtag #threeblackteenagers across social media platforms. While mugshots are the first images to appear for black teenagers, the photos for white teenagers shows a different story.

A Google search of three black teenagers versus three black teenagers caused outrage, which led to the hashtag #threeblackteenagers across social media platforms. While mugshots are the first images to appear for black teenagers, the photos for white teenagers shows a different story.

https://storify.com/GradyNewsource/google-search

But John Weatherford, a lecturer at the University of Georgia’s New Media Institute, said Google does not purposefully enforce the racial differences.

“Google is just trying to come up with the best matches with a given query,” he said. “And they do that with a formula that changes.”

Google search operates on a complex, mathematical formula, he said, to bring the most accurate information and match what people click on when looking for a particular search.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcR1ik2irOU&w=640&h=360]

A change in search results may lead to editorial decisions based on Google values.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52GZ3FpHY3s&w=640&h=360]

But Weatherford said,= the search formula allows Google to remain objective.

By Jazmine Calhoun

 

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