Black Lives Matter has headlined the news since the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Riots and protests have taken over many cities in the US, something not really talked about by the media. Bias in favor of BLM is nothing new, but we’re starting to see a bigger picture.
Google has been a large part of our lives since it first took off. We use it everyday. “Just google it” or “you have Google, use it” are terms we are all familiar with. However, when you’re researching something, you want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly, something that doesn’t happen when you search BLM on the platform. Given the popularity of the term “Black Lives Matter,” one would expect to see a list of suggestions when typing it into the search bar. However, this isn’t the case, which suggests that if the information did exist at one point, they have since removed it.
Typing “is” after BLM and adding a space after it generates no searches at all; while doing the same thing with the term “Black Lives Matter,” it generates a few hits, all of which are positive in nature. This is strange given when you take to Yahoo or DuckDuckGo, a typical list of suggestions follows the same inquiry. Spoiler alert: they’re not all casting a positive light over BLM.
Something that can’t be verified independently is the idea that Google did have the same suggestions as Bing, Yahoo, and others. Twitter users noted that the platform had potentially removed the negative search suggestions regarding BLM.
Aaaaaand it's gone. gOoGle Is UnBiAsEd pic.twitter.com/YRwHHgAmIT
— TheDonald.win (@thedonalddotwin) August 31, 2020
This is almost a mirror image of what happened during the 2016 election when Google would not turn up any negative search suggestions when typing in “Hillary Clinton.” The company defended itself by saying that its algorithms would not show offensive or disparaging information in conjunction with a person’s name. However, negative searches popped up for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Besides, BLM isn’t a name, so that narrative doesn’t hold up.
Google claims to be unbiased, but incidents like these beg the question of if they’re really fair or balanced. They use suggestions that are automatically generated by what people search and how often they do it. To say that BLM hasn’t had people look for it negatively is more than a hail mary and is unbelievable on several levels.
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