Data Voids

“There are many search terms for which the available relevant data is limited, non-existent, or deeply problematic. We call these “data voids.” Most of these searches are rare, but in the cases where people do search for these terms, search engines tend to return results that may not give the user what they want because of limited data and/or limited lessons learned through previous
searches…In this paper, we want to offer some basic background on search engines before discussing the different types of data voids; the challenges that search engines face when they encounter queries over spaces where data voids exist; and the ways data voids can be exploited by those with ideological, economic, or political agendas.

-Michael Golebiewski and Danah Boyd, “Data Voids: Where Missing Data Can Be Easily Exploited.” Data & Society. May 2018

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