Monday, December 7, 2009

"White People Stole My Car"

I'm not sure how many have heard of this phrase, but it has become one the most popular searched phrases on Google, due to a controversial picture that surfaced not too long ago.

This past Summer, when one searched for the phrase "white people stole my car", it appeared that Google would ask "Did you mean: black people stole my car". There was the misconception that Google was actually racist. Even if the picture was genuine the blame would lie with Google users themselves. Google, as Tanmay mentioned, keeps track of the most popular phrases used for searches, thus search results would only reflect what your peers have done.

Although it has been argued that the original picture, which created such heated debates between internet users, is actually a fake it has been enough to manipulate Google users to generate a "spammination" of the phrase. The phrase has become so popular and searched so many times on Google, it has even forced Google to actually make it impossible recreate the picture posted above.

Images can so easily trigger a chain of reactions.


Lauren said...

"Words and concepts betray us" (Tsing, 203)

Thinking about the production of patterns and the spatiotemporal reproduction of various conditions...

Lauren said...

"Cultures are continually co-produced in the interactions I call 'friction': the awkward, unequal, unstable, and creative qualities of interconnection across difference" (Tsing, 4)

Here, the unacknowledged 'difference' seems to be a diversion from a widely accepted/considered stereotype; a reversal.

Your example is certainly 'awkward'.