"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."
"Noble offers a compelling look into the structure of digitized information—most of it driven by advertising revenue—and how it perpetuates racist assumptions and ideologies."
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 work...to 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."
“Noble’s incisive work centers around the fact that, at present, Google’s 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."
"A distressing account of algorithms run amok."
"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….Noble’s study should prompt some soul-searching about our reliance on commercial search engines and about digital social equity."
"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."
"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 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
"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
“[P]resents convincing evidence of the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of search engine[s]….A thought-provoking, well-researched work….”
"Noble makes a strong case that present technologies and search engines are not just imperfect, but they enact actual harm to people and communities."
"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
"Safiya Noble’s 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™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture
"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 of White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race
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