Skip to Main Content

Berkeley Global Students: How to Access Library Services

Search Engine Bias

"Google Search is in fact an advertising platform, not intended to solely serve as a public information resource in the way that, say, a library might.  Google creates advertising algorithms, not information algorithms."  -- Safiya Noble, Algorithms of Oppression, p. 38 


Image courtesy of Link-Assistant.Com


Are Computer Algorithms Biased?

Is Your Software Racist?  (Politico 2/7/18)

Racist in the Machine:  The Disturbing Implications of Algorithmic Bias (World Policy Journal Winter 2016) (UCB login required for off campus access)

Machine Bias:  There's Software Used Across the Country To Predict Future Criminals.  And it's Biased Against Blacks (ProPublica 5/3/2016)

How Google's Search Algorithm Spreads False Information With a Rightwing Bias (Guardian 12/16/16)

Competition Commission of India fines Google for abusing dominant position (Reuters 2/8/18)

Here's the Evidence That Google's Search Results Are Horribly Biased (Business Insider 10/2/14)

Can Search Results be Manipulated By Others?

Search Engine Optimization  (Wikipedia)

A New Campaign Tactic:  Manipulating Google Data (NY Times 10/26/06, UCB login required for off campus access)  website version

10 Notorious Google Bombs (The Atlantic 2/25/11)

Googling for Truth:  The Invisible Ways Search Engines Shape Our Opinions (Link-Assistant.Com 2/25/17)

Google Bombing and SEM is Evolving into "Search Engine Activism" (Media Post 1/30/18)


More Reading about Internet Manipulation        

Internet manipulation (Wikipedia)

Media Manipulation (Data & Society)

Read more:  ebook version of Algorithms of Oppression

Algorithms of Oppression book cover


Google Scholar

If you want to use Google for research, use Google Books or Google Scholar.

Use the Advanced Search for more searching options.

Remember that Google Books search results do not necessarily include the full text of the book; some include no text at all, some include a limited preview (only some pages of the book).

When you use Google Scholar, make sure to update your Scholar Preferences (see below) so you'll be able to use UC e-links to find the UC Berkeley library locations/online availability of the articles.

Change your preferences so "UC elinks" shows up in your search results.  To do this:

Click on the menu icon three linesin the upper left corner and then the gear icongear, settingsto reach the settings page.

On the next screen, choose Library Links from the left-hand menu.

In the search box, type the word Berkeley.  Choose (a) Open Worldcat Search, (b) University of California, Berkeley - Get it at UC,  (c) University of California, Berkeley - Proquest Full text

Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page

Don't Just Search - Evaluate What You Find!

You already know that you should evaluate anything you find on the Internet.  Here are some reminders of what to look for.