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[- Google and American Torture of Iraqi Prisoners
By ChristmasPeter, Section whatever...
Posted on Thu May 6th, 2004 at 11:58:12 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Why is it when you do a google search using the phrase "iraq prisoners tortured by americans" in a web search you get 31,200 hits but when you do an image search employing the same phrase you get "Your search - iraq prisoners tortured by americans - did not match any documents", yet most of the web document hits have as a part of their respective web pages the images of Americans soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. Things that make you go "Hummmmmmmm!"


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Google and American Torture of Iraqi Prisoners | 3 comments
[new] Algorithms and people (Avg. Score: 1.00 / Raters: 1) (#1)
by amy on Fri May 7th, 2004 at 07:15:35 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

The question of how Google devises their various "neutral" algorithms is a deep one. Maybe there's nothing underhanded behind this one - could just be that the image indexing algorithm doesn't handle multi-word phrases like the text one does. But, your question points out the important thing here - we don't know *what* formulas Google use to rank "relevance", and whatever they are, they are not neutral and are clearly human-biased.

On a related note, last 2 nights I've checked out Christophe Bruno's project Fascinum. It's been showing that on most the 7 national portals listed, Iraqi torture images were among the top viewed news images. But on the US one, they appear nowhere within the top 10.

But, before we jump up and down - what does this actually illustrate? Which images people are choosing to look at or which images are being fed to people? How does Yahoo calculate this?

In this age of relentless databasing and organizing data, it becomes important to understand what criteria are at work. When I was in school, they taught us to read/view media/information with an eye toward "who is saying this" and "what motives do they have"... perhaps we now need to teach not only media literacy, but algorithmic literacy as well.

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  • Rating by martinpichlmair, 05/10/2004 04:41:01 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME (none / 0)
Google and American Torture of Iraqi Prisoners | 3 comments

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