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Summer Book Club

Summer Book Club Online

The Library and Undergraduate Student Life | Diversity Education invite all Stevens students, staff, and faculty to join the summer book club to read and discuss Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble hosted by Undergraduate Student Life | Diversity Education and the Samuel C. Williams Library.

Four sessions In July on Wednesdays at 12 pm

  • July 7
  • July 14
  • July 21
  • July 28

REGISTER, BEFORE JUNE 28, BELOW.

The book is available in Ebook format from the Library here. You can also buy it through Amazon or your local bookseller.

About

A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms

Run a Google search for “black girls”—what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so angry” presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society.

In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.

Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance—operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond—understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.

An original, surprising, and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.

About the author: Safiya Umoja Noble is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she serves as the Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. She is the co-editor of two books, The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online and Emotions, Technology & Design.

Date:
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Time:
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Online:
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

Registration is required. There are 41 seats available.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Liliana Delman
Liliana Delman
Profile photo of Romel Espinel
Romel Espinel