TECHNOLOGY

Google Image Algorithm Evokes Backlash Over Unkind ‘Matches’

Google is yet again the center of attention and backlash over the way its search algorithm matches people’s images with certain search terms. Unknown to many is that the search giant’s algorithm determines which images to associate with different words or names.

Google Image Algorithm

Google image algorithm boasts of an influential labeling power that determines which image posted online is worth associating with a given search term. While the same can be good in case of good such terms, the same appears to be causing unending stress to people whose faces have been associated with not so kind search terms.

Once the idea arises that a person’s image perfectly represents a given search term, even Google appears to have little or no say in controlling the same. The lack of control is one of the reasons why meme’s with people’s images have cropped up and shared with millions of people all over the world.

While some sites and services offer recommendations on how to combat the issue, there is nothing to report on whether the same has ever helped anyone. One Australian man has already found out, how hard it is to have his image disassociated with a unique search term.

Milorad Trkulja’s picture has for the longest time been appearing under searches involving ‘Melbourne underworld criminals.’ Trkulja says he has been unfairly associated with the gang just because one of the gang members shot him back in 2004.

Since 2012, he has been waging a legal war against Google to have his picture removed from such search results but with no success. Nothing has been forthcoming for Mr. Trkulja’s even on seeking more than $200,000 in defamation. It is becoming clear that it could take much longer for Mr. Trkulja to have his picture removed from such search results.

Google Tied Hands

The fact that Google does not make character judgments about which images to associate with pictures all but complicates the matter. The company’s search algorithm ranks pictures based on the data attached to them normally shared by people. The fact that different people upload material online on a daily basis while using similar photos has all but made it impossible for Google to crack down on the issue.

Trkulja’s case is not the only one that has seen Google come under immense criticism for allegedly perpetuating racist stereotypes with its image search algorithm. A good number of people have sought to have their images removed from other search terms with no success.

Peter Saddington is one such person that is coming to terms with his image, while posing with a white Lamborghini, appearing in search results involving cryptocurrencies investments. The photo has been used extensively even in Random Russian ads.

Once an image becomes a top hit on search results, there is little that one can do to reverse the situation. How long this will continue is still an open discussion as Google insists it does not have the right or power to delete such images on requests.

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