One Harvard professor says some of Google’s ads discriminate, linking “racially associated” names to a possible criminal background.
One study by a Harvard professor says some of Google’s ads discriminate, linking “racially associated” names to a possible criminal background. Government and technology professor Latanya Sweeney searched 2,184 full names on Google and Reuters.com, which uses Google AdWords advertisements. She found that “black identifying” names were more likely to show ads suggesting arrest, as compared to “white identifying” names.
Names often given to black babies, like DeShawn, Darnell and Jermaine, suggested criminal ads in 81 to 86% of searches on one site, and up to 95% on the other. Names like Geoffrey, Jill and Emma, typically assigned to white babies, resulted in these types of ads 23 to 29% of the time on one site and 0 to 60% on the other, Sweeney’s study says.
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