Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
New York University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.8 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Safiya Umoja Noble is Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Departments of Gender Studies and African American Studies. She is the co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). In 2021, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ground-breaking work in critical information and algorithm studies. She is also the recipient of the 2023 Miles Conrad Award, a lifetime achievement award for those working in the information community.
"Safiya Noble has produced an outstanding book that raises clear alarms about the ways Google quietly shapes our lives, minds, and attitudes. Noble writes with urgency and clarity. This book is essential for anyone hoping to understand our current information ecosystem."--Siva Vaidhyanathan, Author of The Googlization of Everything -- and Why We Should Worry
"Noble demolishes the popular assumption that Google is a values-free tool with no agenda...She astutely questions the wisdom of turning so much of our data and intellectual capital over to a corporate monopoly.Nobles study should prompt some soul-searching about our reliance on commercial search engines and about digital social equity."--STARRED Booklist
"[P]resents convincing evidence of the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of search engine[s].A thought-provoking, well-researched work."--Library Journal
"Noble makes a strong case that present technologies and search engines are not just imperfect, but they enact actual harm to people and communities."
"Noble offers a compelling look into the structure of digitized informationmost of it driven by advertising revenueand how it perpetuates racist assumptions and ideologies."--Pacific Standard
"50 Best Book of 2018 So Far, "There's been a growing swell of concern in the academic community about the stranglehold that commercial (for-profit) search engines have over access to information in our world. Safiya Umoja Noble builds on this body of demonstrate that search engines, and in particular Google, are not simply imperfect machines, but systems designed by humans in ways that replicate the power structures of the western countries where they are built, complete with all the sexism and racism that are built into those structures."
"Safiya Nobles compelling and accessible book is an impressive survey of the impact of search and other algorithms on our understandings of racial and gender identity. Her study raises crucial questions regarding the power and control of algorithms, and is essential reading for understanding the way media works in the contemporary moment."--Sarah Banet-Weiser, Author of Authentic(TM) The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture
"Noble argues...that the web is ...a machine of oppression...[Her] central insight - that nothing about internet search and retrieval is political neutral - is made...through the accumulation of alarming and disturbing examples. [She] makes a compelling case that pervasive racism online inflames racist violence IRL."--Los Angeles Review of Books
"A distressing account of algorithms run amok."--Kirkus Reviews
"Rather than being a neutral arbiter that sorts content by quality, Noble argues that search engines are easily gamed in ways that reflect discriminatory practices. Even without malevolent actors, search engines may be perpetuating racist stereotypes."--Chicago Tribune
"Nobles incisive work centers around the fact that, at present, Googles search engine promotes structural inequality through multiple examples and that this is not just a & design problem but an inherent political problem that has shaped the entirety of twentieth-century technology design. In addition to her illustrative examples and incisive criticism, Noble offers practicable policy solutions."--Metascience
"A good read for anyone interested in how bias can be expressed by lines of code. Even those already familiar with the issues will find new insight in the connections and impact Noble outlines. The book is accessible even to those who are not well-versed in the technology of search engines."--The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion
"Algorithms of Oppression is a wakeup call to bring awareness to the biases of the internet, and should motivate all concerned people to ask why those biases exist, and who they benefit."--New York Journal of Books
"Algorithms of Oppression succeeds as a critical intervention, one with a clear commitment to engaged scholarship that should lead to policy changes as well as changes in a field too white, American and male. For readers of this journal, the book is a powerful example of the vital contributions of Black Feminist Technology Studies... Noble demonstrates that engaged, intersectional and accessible writing can and indeed does make a difference."--The International Journal of Press/Politics
"All search results are not created equal. Through deft analyses of software, society, and superiority, Noble exposes both the motivations and mathematics that make a technologically redlined internet. Read this book to understand how supposedly race neutral zeros and ones simply don't add up."--Matthew W. Hughey, author "White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race "
"In Algorithms of Oppression, [Noble] offers her readers a lens to discover, analyze, and critique the search engine algorithms that perpetuate stereotypes and racist beliefs[This] book will be of great interest to academic librarians who teach information literacy courses, as well as students and faculty in computer science, ethnic studies, gender studies, and mass communications."--Choice
"Noble's thesis is a new tune in the ever-louder chorus that, in light of the dominance of the big tech companies, is singing for 'protections and attention that work in service of the public'."--The Financial Times
"Algorithms of Oppression offers a sobering portrait of the impact of our reliance on quick, freely accessible searches. Foregrounding her discussion in the context of the technological mechanisms and decision‐makers that drive results, Noble forces the reader to confront the rarely discussed risks and long‐term costs associated with easy‐to‐access, corporate‐sponsored information."--Teachers College Record
"Often assumed by both developers and the general public to be value-neutral, the algorithmic structures through which human beings create, organize, and access content online are, Noble effectively argues, inescapably shaped by the logics of oppression that shape our interconnected lives ... Algorithms of Oppression provides a strong introduction, with concrete and replicable examples of algorithmic oppression, for those beginning to think critically about our internet-centric information ecosystem. For those already steeped in the rapidly growing literature of critical librarian and information studies, Algorithms will be a valuable addition to our corpus of texts that blend theory and practice, both documenting the problematic nature of where we are and the possibility of where we might arrive in future if we fight, collectively, to make it so."--New England Archivists