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Volume 26, Number 10 - 4 October 2021
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This month: October 2021
Hey, Google, is this what the Holocaust looked like? Auditing algorithmic curation of visual historical content on Web search engines
By filtering and ranking information, search engines shape how individuals perceive both present and past events. However, these information curation mechanisms are prone to malperformance that can misinform their users. This paper examines how search malperformance can influence the representation of the traumatic past by investigating the image search outputs of six search engines in relation to the Holocaust in English and Russian. The findings indicate that besides two common themes — commemoration and liberation of camps — there is substantial variation in the visual representation of the Holocaust between search engines and languages. We also observed several instances of search malperformance, including content propagating antisemitism and Holocaust denial, misattributed images, and disproportionate visibility of specific Holocaust aspects that might result in distorted perception by the public.
Also this month
Individual and personality factors that explain selfie behaviors
Among the artifacts of the increasingly digital and social media-saturated world we live in is the rise and proliferation of selfie phenomenon. This study is designed to provide empirical evidence in support of, and to quantify the effect size of, the personality and individual-level factors frequently mentioned in literature as the drivers of selfie behaviors. Results indicate that all of the variables considered in this study — age, gender, time spent on social media, narcissism, extraversion, and impression management — predict and explain 60 percent of the variance in selfie behaviors. Implications are drawn and future avenues are discussed.