Google and happy white women
Go to Google, search "happy black woman," press Images, then scroll down several pages. Repeat with "happy Asian woman." Then try "happy white woman." Notice anything? The first two searches return images of a single, smiling woman. But white women are shown in relationships, and most of those are interracial. Haven't we been lectured for decades that women do not need a man to be complete?
Repeat those searches with Bing and Duckduckgo. Well, that's curious. Entirely different results: Images of a single, smiling woman are returned for all three searches.
Back to Google. The topic has generated lots of questions, and Google has helpfully provided a recommended answer, by one Jason King, Ad Grants Certified Professional: "In what way are they different? Please provide screenshots. This question, and variants of it, are commonly asked on this forum. Usually there are simple explanations ..." Yes, Jason, usually, of course. "Bear in mind that some of the people sharing this question on social media, are not doing so with the best of intentions, and know full well it's a trick of language."
After someone provides screenshots, Jason is unfazed: "The people who share these race-baiting Google Search tricks, aren't being honest with you." Then he tries another tack: "This is automated, a machine's results ..." Ah, the algorithms plucked from Google's algorithm orchard at a secret location.
After Jason is challenged yet again, he admits the origin of those mysterious algorithms: "Humans write the algorithms, so bias (of many complex kinds) can inevitably creep in. But for the most part it's the world's website publishers and content writers who influence what appears in Google. And in this case, stock photo sites."
Reminds me of the man accused of murder: I didn't do it, and if I did, I didn't mean to.
For some reason, neither Bing nor Duckduckgo is fooled by those wily "website publishers and content writers." Maybe Google needs a motto on its splash screen: "Google — pawn of website publishers and content writers."
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.