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Google search engine is ‘racially biased’, says professor

DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS: Google search engine

INTERNET SEARCH engine Google has been accused by a university professor of having "significant discrimination" depending on the ethnicity of the name that is searched for.

In a study by Harvard Professor Latanya Sweeney, she discovered that names commonly associated to black people were 25 per cent more likely to produce advertisements related to criminal activity compared to that of a common name belonging to a white person.

Using names such as DeShawn and Ebony compared to Jill and Geoffrey, Professor Sweeney found that more advertisements regarding background checks for arrests and criminal records would appear for the black names.

"There is discrimination in the delivery of these ads," said Prof Sweeney, who ruled out the possibility that the findings were down to chance.

"Alongside news stories about high school athletes and children can be ads bearing the child's name and suggesting arrest. This seems concerning on many levels."

Google responded in a statement to BBC News, saying that the company "does not conduct any racial profiling"

"We also have an 'anti' and violence policy which states that we will not allow ads that advocate against an organisation, person or group of people," they added.

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