Don’t Google It!

Algorithms of Oppression addresses the growing concern about the consequences of commercial control over information and the harm it does to communities. Read more

Select Reviews

“Noble makes a strong case that present technologies and search engines are not just imperfect, but they enact actual harm to people and communities.”

“[P]resents convincing evidence of the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of search engine[s]….A thought-provoking, well-researched work….”

Library Journal

“Noble argues…that the web is …a machine of oppression…[Her] central insight – that nothing about internet search and retrieval is political neutral – is made…through the accumulation of alarming and disturbing examples.  [She] makes a compelling case that pervasive racism online inflames racist violence IRL.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

“Noble demolishes the popular assumption that Google is a values-free tool with no agenda…She astutely questions the wisdom of turning so much of our data and intellectual capital over to a corporate monopoly….Noble’s study should prompt some soul-searching about our reliance on commercial search engines and about digital social equity.”

STARRED Booklist

“A distressing account of algorithms run amok.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Safiya Noble has produced an outstanding book that raises clear alarms about the ways Google quietly shapes our lives, minds, and attitudes. Noble writes with urgency and clarity. This book is essential for anyone hoping to understand our current information ecosystem.”

—Siva Vaidhyanathan, Author of The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry

“Safiya Noble’s compelling and accessible book is an impressive survey of the impact of search and other algorithms on our understandings of racial and gender identity. Her study raises crucial questions regarding the power and control of algorithms, and is essential reading for understanding the way media works in the contemporary moment.”

—Sarah Banet-Weiser, Author of Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture

“All search results are not created equal.  Through deft analyses of software, society, and superiority, Noble exposes both the motivations and mathematics that make a ‘technologically redlined’ internet.  Read this book to understand how supposedly race neutral zeros and ones simply don’t add up.”

—Matthew W. Hughey, Author of White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

“Critiques of disinformation and other high-profile issues that have come to light since the book’s publication (e.g., weaponized social media and the repeal of net neutrality), which could have significant consequences for low-income schools with aging hardware, give new examples for several claims made in this book. We know change is possible, given Google’s fix to the “black girls” search results. Perhaps this political context can motivate the groups Noble calls upon to provide clear and actionable strategies. After all, I concur: Society is searching for them.”

—Linzi Juliano, Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience journal

“If Algorithms of Oppression is going to be an “important” book, it will be for its ability to reach outside the academy. It’s a strong work of scholarship that provides many new research questions, but it is more powerful because it speaks to the public it advocates for. It effectively takes its reader a step back from the tools they are accustomed to and reminds them that alternatives are possible.”

—Mark Filipowich, First Person Scholar journal

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An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century. Buy a Book