Google accused of racism after black names are 25% more likely to bring up adverts for criminal records checks
- Professor finds ‘significant discrimination’ in ad results, with black names 25 per cent more likely to be linked to arrest record check services
- She compared typically black names like ‘Ebony’ and ‘DeShawn’ with typically white ones like ‘Jill’ and ‘Geoffrey’
Google has been accused of racism after allegedly linking names usually associated with black people to adverts related to criminality.
A Harvard University professor found ‘significant discrimination’ after comparing the adverts which appear when searching a typically black name compared with those for typically white names.
Findings showed that names typically associated with black people were 25 per cent more likely to bring up adverts related to criminality.
The study by Latanya Sweeney contrasted online searches using names such as ‘Ebony’ and ‘DeShawn,’ with those such as ‘Jill’ and ‘Geoffrey.’
She found that adverts posted alongside search results for names likely to belong to black people were more likely to offer services like background checks for arrests and criminal records.