Differences Between African And American Children Image Results On Google

This Is Africa recently did a simple experiment. We did an image search for “African children” on Google. The results were eye-opening especially when compared to Google searches for “American children” and “European children.” While the other two searches yielded images of cheerful, happy children, the image search for “African children” turned up many disturbing images of starving, distressed and yes, even gun-toting minors. Is this the real Africa or does Google need to play an active role in changing how the world sees the continent?

This is how the world sees Africa's children according to Google. (Photo: Composite of Google images)

This is how the world sees Africa’s children according to Google. (Photo: Composite of Google images)

Death, disease, disaster and despair. For a long time, these are words that have defined how the rest of the world sees Africa. How much has that changed? Going by the evidence of a recent experiment conducted by This Is Africa, not much.

For our experiment, we did three different google searches for “African children”, “American children” and “European children.” Here’s a sampling of the results we got.

African children 

images-1 images

imgres images-2

American children

images-1 imgres-1

images imgres-2

European children

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Africa’s “sad” children 

When know you noticed it too. Google spits out more unflattering results for “African children” than it does for the other searches. Going by the image results, Africa’s children are sad-faced, poverty-stricken and so undernourished, they are at death’s door. But that’s not all, if you’re not happy with your results Google has some suggestions for alternative searches for all three. See if you notice anything “off” in the options provided.


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