“If you look up the word stupid in the dictionary, there’s a picture of you,” went the sickest burn on the elementary school playground, back before the dictionary was dishing out sick burns of its own. Now Google basically is the dictionary, and real people’s pictures come up when you perform a Google Image search for stupid. My recent results included a man with a condom over his head, a teenage boy in a hospital after attempting to complete the Duct Tape Challenge, and—I’m pleased to report—many pictures of Trump.
It’s a well-acknowledged problem that Google’s algorithm determines what images are associated with your name—it’s decided, for example, that a still of Rachel Withers, Commuterlooking distraught the morning after Election Day 2016 is the second-most important image of me to share (though this is my own fault, for attaching it to an article about being distraught). Many sites and services offer recommendations as to how to rid yourself of unfavorable Google Image results. BrandYourself, for example, suggests that you “create tons of positive images associated with your name that will ultimately overwhelm any image results of yours that are less than flattering.”
Read more ‘What It’s Like to Be Google’s Poster Child for “Crying Liberal” or “Basic Bitch”’ at slate.com