Google Heavily Criticized for Racially-Biased Search Results

Google received a barrage of negative press after an academic study demonstrated that search results for traditionally-black names disproportionately included ads suggestive of a criminal record. The research showed that these names were 25 percent more likely to be served with an arrest-related ad even if the subjects had no criminal record, raising the risk that employers might wrongly assess innocent applicants. Even though both Google and the study itself suggested the results were the product of the company’s algorithm, critics attacked the company for its racially-biased results and called the study a “powerful wakeup call.”

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