• RyanMJones

    So, I’ve done work for one of those companies advertising in that space before. Their method of bidding on names was to do an export from their arrest record database, then filter those terms and import them into their paid search. Perhaps it’s not Google that’s racist, but our criminal justice system?

  • RyanMJones

    also, does anybody find the concept of having “black” and “white” names racist in itself?

  • http://twitter.com/aaronwall aaron wall

    This is a case of selection bias becoming reality.

    Names that are more ethnic sounding often tend to come from broken families where children have poorer upbringings:


    “What kind of parent is most likely to give a child such a distinctively black
    name? The data offer a clear answer: an unmarried, low-income, undereducated, teenage mother from a black neighborhood who has a distinctively black name herself.

    The data show that, on average, a person with a distinctively black name—whether it is a woman named Imani or a man named DeShawn—does have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake. But it isn’t the fault of his or her name. If two black boys, Jake Williams and DeShawn Williams, are born in the same neighborhood and into the same familial and economic circumstances, they would likely have similar life outcomes.”

  • Alfred Ingram

    Bias is less and less a matter of intention and even less does it present consciously. The real important thing isn’t what did they mean to do, but, was anyone harmed, did anyone disproportionately benefit, and, if so, how can we fix this. That seems to be completely missing while everyone assesses blame or denies any bias at all.

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  • http://www.dekh.com/members/profile/13 Harsh Bawa

    It is up to individual advertisers to decide which keywords they want to choose to trigger their ads.
    The image search results of some of the names as mentioned in the report were actually very surprising.

    What search criteria did Instant Checkmate specify?

    Are ads randomly delivered?

    Do ads rely only on thefirst name?

    How would Google know the race of someone when somebody uses Google?

    These are some of the questions I would like to get an answer.