Four Google searches that reveal an uncomfortable truth about racism

Warning: this post makes references to violent pornography

A Tumblr post by an Argentinian teenager pointing out the difference in searches on Google using the term "abused" has gone viral - for good reason.

Under the caption "this makes me sick", it showed a search for 'white girl abuse' brings up stories about sex gangs preying on children. But searches for 'black girl' or 'latina' or 'asian' abuse turns up violent pornography. While the Tumblr post used screengrabs of searches presumably made in Argentina, the same themes dominate Google in the UK, as these screengrabs of searches done by i100 show.

This isn't the first time Google - which uses an algorithm to put the most popular or clicked on search results at the top of its pages - has revealed uncomfortable truths. A study published earlier this year showed the first woman to appear in an image search for CEO was 'Barbie' - and she was not on the front page.

Researchers from the University of Washington said the results were problematic as image - and presumably search - results can actually influence people's perceptions.

A separate map of what people want to know about the world according to Google autocomplete from US company Fixr also revealed some disturbing assumptions. People search to find out how much it costs to live in Britain, how much a croissant costs in France and how much a meal costs in Portugal - but they also wanted to know how much a prostitute cost in Brazil, Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Latvia, how much a kidney costs in Iran and how much slaves cost in Mauritania.

More: The problem with Google images

More: This world map of what we want to know reveals some disturbing assumptions

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