10 Offensive Google Searches That Show How Deeply Embedded Racism Is In Society

The racism we know and see in America didn’t didn’t just hatch out of an egg one day (although that’d be a whimsical origin story for such a villain). There is a long history (ahem, slavery) of institutionalized racism, and much of the prejudice (both structural and social) that we see today is comprised of a bunch of small factors.

This is where the racist bent of Google’s algorithm comes into play. As most people with computers know, when you begin each Google search there are often a series of suggest search options (or popular search options – these go hand in hand). The same goes for image searches.

While in theory, the search engine is a neutral tool, the curating and ordering of suggested searches vs. popular searches is something that can be managed.

It isn’t in Google’s best interest to censor people’s private searches, but it would be in their best interest to monitor the proliferation of racist suggestions.

Also, the insistence on pretending Google is neutral is hugely ignoring the fact that search engines are businesses that prioritize websites and companies who shell out top dollar.

In any case, visual examples maintain themselves as the best way to disperse information, especially on social media.

So, I have compiled a list of times Google searches confirmed or encouraged the embedded nature of racism.

1. The difference between image searching for “three black teenagers” and three white teenagers.”

2. The unbearable whiteness of Googling “cute hairstyles.”

3. It gets worse when you Google “professional hair” vs. “unprofessional hair.”

4. When Google doesn’t believe a white person stole your car.


A post shared by Juan C Torres REALTOR® (@the_juan_and_only) on

5. TFW Google makes your science research racist.

6. It doesn’t get any better.

#googleisracist #firstnations #sowrongonsomanylevels

A post shared by CREEations 306 (@creeations306) on

7. TFW Google shows itself once more.

Lol! #googleisracist #wedontalllookalike

A post shared by @ wheezyhuy on

8. Just, oof.

Google is a little racist… #google #googleisracist #blackstereotypes #racist #faf

A post shared by Daniel Tybroski (@daniel_tybroski) on

9. When Google comes for Jewish people.

#googleisracist pt.1

A post shared by Brendan Arve McCaffery (@bmccaf10) on

10. Also, who needs the answers to these questions?!

Wtf google?! I didn't think this was real so I did it myself. #googleisracist

A post shared by Christine (@miss_lady_vader) on

Sadly, I have no doubt there are plenty more examples (although they are a bit harder to find) of the ways Google’s algorithm suggests and enforces negative racial stereotypes. Calling them out is crucial, all these seemingly benign forces of racism help create the hostile environment we live in.

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