If searching for “white American family,” the search engine will show image results based on the description of the image and the keywords in your search. Search engines like Google have bots that crawl websites to display results-based keywords and have adapted results to be racially diverse.
Have you typed “white American family” in the search bar on your browser? Were you surprised by the results, specifically the images related to this search term? Unfortunately, this standard search term and other common search terms show results that seem very unrelated to what you’re searching for. There are a few reasons why.
Your search history has a lot to do with your browser’s results when you type in a search term. Most browsers track your searches and use that information to profile you and show you relevant ads based on your searches. In addition, there are algorithms, keywords, and SEO ranking which plays a role in the results you see when you search for something.
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The Search Results When Googling “White American Family”
If the search results don’t always show what you search for, then what do they display when you type in “White American Family?”. The results are African American families and mixed-race families. There is controversy and different reasons why this is, and some of this may be built on speculation. The most popular reasons why are listed below:
Google And Other Browsers Keep Track Of Your Search History
If you’ve browsed the web for a new pair of shoes or maybe a new sofa, you’ve also been shown ads related to your searches. Many websites and browsers collect and store your personal information, including your search history.
This information is used to create a profile of what you like, the places, and the web pages you visit. This is then used to show you relevant ads on items you may be interested in purchasing.
Your data and search history also show you the most relevant results based on your search terms. This could be why the search results could be skewed to show mixed-race families or African American families. Your search results may also be different if you live outside of the United States.
Most browsers display content relevant to your country. Users in the U.S. may not see the same results compared to someone living in the United Kingdom.
Key Words Based On Your Search Term
Google and other browsers like Yahoo and Bing use bots that crawl through countless web pages to find the most relevant results based on your search term. Typically, web pages are written with specific keywords that appear in the search results when you search for something.
Keywords are generally broken up when you type in a search term. The bots crawl websites, search for keywords, and then display results that match the keywords. For example, if using the search phrase “white American family,” you may be shown a search result with an image of an African American family with a blank background. This image is named “American Family with white background.”
As you can determine from the above example, the search results contained all three keywords: “white,” “American,” and “family .”So although the image was not a White American Family, the name of the image contained the exact keywords of the words typed into the search bar. This is often why the search results can be skewed.
Keywords are essential, and if you’re using a search engine, you want to find what you’re looking for. The A.I. technology in browsers helps determine what users are searching for. The key in these searches is that search engines rely heavily on descriptions of the images shown in the search results.
SEO Optimized Web Pages Shown First
Many web pages are optimized for search engines. This makes these web pages appear higher on the search results than other pages. This could be why some results are shown over others. In addition, these pages may contain the exact keywords in your search term but may display conflicting results than what you want from your search term.
SEO plays a significant role in how pages and images rank on search engines. The descriptions of pictures and the content on the web page they belong to play a role in your search results.
Racial Equality And History Factors In Search Results
Many browsers have teams of employees that moderate searches and possibly have to make sure searches display a diverse range of people. This has led to speculation about the agenda of search engines.
Search results may vary from browser to browser. However, Google is said to be one of the browsers that display the most skewed results when typing in the search term “white American family.” It’s possible, although not proven, that this is done to avoid any racism and to correct previous historical racial atrocities. However, it could also be done to create more equality within the search results.
The above reasons may impact why the results show mixed-race and African American families when searching for “white American families.” In addition, increasing awareness around correcting historical atrocities has also influenced our web search results.
Many companies are focused on implementing policies that allow equal opportunities for everyone. This could be why the search results show a diverse range of families when this term is used.
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Does Google Search Have Incorrect Images For “White American Family”
There can be significant differences in results when typing in a search term. Most search results generally display what you’re looking for. Still, in some cases, these results can be completely opposite to what you’re looking for.
Google image search produces results based on the keywords entered, the keywords on the webpage linked to that image, and how closely your search terms match the file names of images. Google’s algorithm learns and adapts from each of these searches. Images are then displayed based on the keywords used in your search engine.
It’s easy to understand that sometimes your search results don’t match what you’re looking for since most of it comes down to keywords. Images could have a description that matches your keywords but does not match your search term. The names of images can be pretty unreliable.
A similar case to “white American family” is the “white American doctor” search term. An article was written on the New York Post website that covered why results show African American doctors instead of white doctors when this phrase is searched. This was also part of a Twitter thread that went viral. Many people claim that there is a racial bias associated with this.
If you Google search the term “African American families,” the results show African American Families. There are no interracial families or white families displayed in this search result. It’s easy to assume that the images displayed for “white American family” are incorrect and that there is some bias linked to these search results.
Browsers Make Search Results More Racially Diverse
Like most online platforms, Google is geared towards generating income, and this is through advertisements. Therefore, Google is an advertising platform that plays a role in the content that comes up in the search results.
According to an article written on theoutline.com in 2017, Google implemented structural changes to its algorithm. This change aimed to improve search results and avoid results that may be offensive or show misleading content. It was also implemented to avoid showing people content that people are not looking for when they type in a search term.
Changes to autocomplete suggestions were also changed to show more relevant results. Google suggests that its browser aims to find the best results based on the search term. However, it may require more descriptive words for the most accurate results. Although the word “white” in “white American family” should be descriptive enough for search results.
White can also be a color, as in a white background. However, this could lead to other images shown in search results instead of what the user is searching for.
There is no doubt there may be some initiatives to increase the number of diverse images on the internet. For example, many image results can be seen when typing in search terms related to beauty and family categories. This is done to avoid incidents that show algorithmic bias. However, according to an article on Bloomberg, this change was implemented without any formal announcement.
This change was mainly focused on Google images to promote more racially diverse photos. However, this change also impacts beauty standards to avoid pictures reinforcing European beauty standards.
Algorithms Affect Search Results For White American Family
There has been some surfacing evidence recently on the bias in language models used by companies like Google. For example, algorithms can reinforce prejudices by using automated resume scanning systems and credit scoring A.I. These systems can cut people from benefits. And show discrimination against African American names and even “women” when used in a job application.
Algorithms lack the human factor to sensitize these decisions and correct any racial bias that may be present. Many of the results from algorithms just mean the technology has not been taught how to display accurate results for the user.
It could also mean that they have been programmed to show specific results. For example, this can be seen in the difference in the content shown when typing in “white American family” and “African American family.”
The fact is that computers and A.I. technology are much easier to use and quicker than getting a team of employees to do the same work. The only thing lacking is the ability to make decisions based on human thinking. Unfortunately, algorithms can unintentionally amplify racial bias and have significant shortfalls.
It is the company’s responsibility to ensure best practices when using algorithms to avoid results that may be offensive or biased. For example, machine learning aims to be objective. Still, it can quickly skew data by finding patterns you could not have predicted.
There are lots of shortfalls when it comes to algorithms. Although they may be necessary, they need significant improvement to avoid the backlash generated by skewed search results. People are becoming more aware of racial prejudice presented in search results from Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
Google’s algorithms are also taught by users on the internet. This A.I. technology learns from search terms and people searching the internet with specific search terms. So, these algorithms are also introduced to the same prejudices as the users browsing the web.
The question of racial bias in search terms like this is reported a lot on the Google help forum. However, many answers to these concerns are related to the keywords used in the searches and the Google algorithm.
White American Family Search Term On Stock Image Websites
Suppose you’ve given up on your browser image results and started looking at stock image sites instead. In that case, you may be taken aback by the results. For example, if you use the term “white American family,” you may be surprised that the results are almost identical. In the search results, many stock websites also display African American families, interracial families, and rarely a “white American family” in the search results.
This again comes down to the keywords in the search term. Many of these images have a white background, and the word “white” is seen as a keyword but relates to color, not race. You also get pets, homes, the beach, and children playing outdoors among these results.
The results do not show what you’re looking for despite the relatively descriptive keywords.
Many stock image sites work like search engines and use only keywords in the search terms. They may not have modern browsers’ technology, resulting in images being entirely unrelated to your search term. There could also be some efforts for racial inclusion in stock images sites, with many of the pictures displaying African American and interracial families.
The images displayed in the Google images result often come from many stock image sites. These results are displayed based on their SEO ranking, keywords, and descriptions of the picture that match your search result.
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The simple explanation for why you may see African American families when searching for “white American family” has to do with the web page’s keywords and image descriptions. If web pages and the image descriptions have the exact keywords as the term you are searching for, you may see results that you weren’t expecting.
Although search engines have improved their search results and auto-suggest functions, many improvements can offer users the best experience. And generate the best results based on their search terms.