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ENGL 2A Examining Bias in Search Tools


Welcome to Gomes ENGL 2A

Workshop Goals Today

Welcome! In the library workshop, you will have the opportunity to:


1. Understand how algorithmic bias shapes research processes

2. Reflect on how algorithmic biases informed or shaped your own assignments

3. Project possibilities for leveraging or confronting algorithmic bias in revisions and future research

Algorithms and Research


What do our algorithms say about our society? In this talk, social scientist Safiya Umoja Noble investigates the bias revealed in search engine results and argues why we have to be skeptical of the algorithms we rely upon every day.

Before watching the Noble video, read  "Google is Finally Admitting It Has a Filter Bubble Problem" to give you needed context.

Bias in Other Information Sources

In small breakout groups, read and discuss one article about bias in another tool, source type, or system. Then, share group thoughts and response with the class as a whole.

A. “The Dangers of English as Lingua Franca of Journals” 
B. “Wikipedia Mirrors the World’s Gender Biases, it Doesn’t Cause Them
C. “The Racial Politics of Citation

(Activity adopted from Lindsay Davis, Merced College)