Oppressive Algorithms: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism By Safiya U. Noble: September 17, 2021




The information landscape is changing rapidly as new imperatives and demands push increasing investments in digital technologies to the fore. Yet critical information scholars continue to demonstrate how digital technology and its narratives are shaped and imbued with values ​​that are not unbiased. Technologies consist of a set of social practices, located in the dynamics of race, gender, class and politics, and in the service of something – a position, a motive for profit, a means to an end. In this speech, Dr Safiya Umoja Noble discuss his book, Oppression algorithms, the impact of marginalization and misrepresentation in business information platforms such as Google search and power struggles for representation on the web, as well as the implications for public information needs.

Dr Safiya Umoja Noble is Associate Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she is Co-Director of the Center for Critical Investigation of the Internet at UCLA. She is the author of a bestselling book on Racist and Sexist Algorithmic Bias in Commercial Search Engines, titled Oppressive Algorithms: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (NYU Press), which has been the subject of numerous reviews in journals and periodicals, including the Los Angeles Book Review, and presented in the New York Public Library 2018 Best Books For Adults (non-fiction). She is regularly cited for her expertise on algorithmic discrimination and technological bias issues by the national and international press, including The Guardian, the BBC, CNN International, United States today, Wired, Time, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The New York Times, and Virginia Public Radio, and a host of local news and podcasts, including Scientific friction, and Science friday to name a few. Safiya holds a doctorate. and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Fresno State University.

This conference is sponsored by the CORE program.

Learn more about the Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI Exposure


Rosemary S. Bishop