book hack

Algorithms of Oppression

Safiya Umoja Noble

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Algorithms of Oppression is a deeply analytical examination of how computer search algorithms and artificial intelligence in everyday online activity promote and bolster racial and sexist stereotypes.


Algorithms of Oppression

Algorithms of Oppression

by Safiya Umoja Noble


Is the search engine racist and sexist, or is it just us?

When professor Safiya Umoja Noble opened up Google one evening, looking for something to entertain her young Black stepdaughter, she stumbled on some disturbing results. When a simple Google search returned not entertainment for her stepdaughter, but pornographic websites about Black women, it turned into a decade-long research project. Algorithms of Oppression shows how the computer code that runs search engines reinforces racist and sexist tropes about women and people of color.

Umoja Noble is an associate professor in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, studying the socio-political relationships of our digital lives.

Favorite quote

Interrogating what advertising companies serve up as credible information must happen, rather than instantly gratifying the public with stereotypes in three-hundredths of a second or less.

- Safiya Umoja Noble, author

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