There is a sad little conspiracy theory that has been floating around for years about Google’s purported political agenda. This idea (and I use the word loosely) is that Google suppresses information about “white” people, particularly white men, in its search results.
The latest sad little conspiracy theorist to jump on this creaky bandwagon trots out the moldy “American inventors” thing: enter these two words into Google and you will be bombarded by Negroes! And one picture of Thomas Edison.
The author of this race-baiting screed knows why this happens; he even links to the explanation. The images are associated with the words “African American inventors,” both by the surrounding text and tags and links created by millions of users. This is Google’s relevance algorithms at work, and the results require no human intervention, of the crazed social justice warrior type or otherwise, to understand.
This self-described “scientist” and “statistician” seems never to have thought to place the search terms within quotation marks. Try it.
He has his doubts about the explanation. He buttresses these doubts by repeating the experiment with similar searches, with predictable results. It’s all kind of dumb.
Here’s an experiment for you. Suppose you’re looking for some photographs of black people’s faces. Type in “black face photograph” (without quotes), and see what you get after clicking the “Images” link: mostly pictures of Caucasians, especially near the top of the results. If I were a race-baiting, conclusion-jumping guy with a political agenda I might get all excited and sit down to expose Google’s obvious anti-black bias. Or, I could spend twelve seconds thinking about this and understand what’s actually happening.