In today's digital age, the internet has become an indispensable tool for accessing information. However, there is a sad truth that even the internet tends to favor and acknowledge the accomplishments of men over women. A simple search query on Google often leads to biased results, where male athletes are prominently featured. This article explores the Correct The Internet campaign by DDB New Zealand, which aims to challenge these biases and celebrate the achievements of female athletes.
Unveiling the Bias
The internet, although a remarkable search tool, does not always provide the most accurate results. Two prime examples highlight the gender bias present in search engine algorithms. When searching for the leading goal scorer in international football, Google responds with Cristiano Ronaldo and his 118 goals, while in reality, Christine Sinclair holds the record with an astounding 190 goals. Similarly, the search for the tennis player who held the number one position for the longest time leads to an incorrect answer of Novak Djokovic instead of Steffi Graf.
The Correct The Internet Campaign
To address this issue, DDB Group Aotearoa NZ launched the Correct The Internet campaign in January 2023. Led by Rebecca Sowden, a former Football Fern, the campaign seeks to eliminate biases and ensure the recognition of female athletes' efforts and achievements.
Using Football as an Example
The campaign strategically chose football as a prominent example to convey its message. A powerful 60-second advertisement video forms the centerpiece of the campaign, highlighting the biases in search results. The video begins with a young girl standing in a stadium surrounded by voice-activated search devices. She asks the internet about the leading goal scorer in international football, and the internet promptly responds with Cristiano Ronaldo. However, when she questions Christine Sinclair's goal tally, the internet provides the correct answer of 190 goals. The girl's repeated queries further expose the internet's biased response. The video concludes with a call to action, urging viewers to help correct the internet's algorithm.
Raising Awareness and Support
The Correct The Internet campaign received immediate support from renowned athletes and sports organizations. Athletes such as Red Roses, Shaunagh Brown, and Meikayla Moore of the Football Ferns voiced their endorsement. Additionally, organizations like Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa (WISPA), Women Sport Australia, and New Zealand Football backed the campaign.
Emphasizing Equality, Not Confrontation
Meikayla Moore emphasizes that Correct The Internet is not a confrontational battle between men and women. The campaign's goal is to rectify inaccurate and inconsistent search results, thereby diminishing the bias that hampers the recognition of female athletes' achievements worldwide.
Correcting the Internet for a Fairer Future
The Correct The Internet campaign initiated by DDB New Zealand has garnered significant attention and has the potential to reshape the way we perceive and search for information about female athletes. By challenging biases and striving for equality, this campaign opens up opportunities for the recognition and celebration of women's achievements in sports.
In a world where the internet plays a crucial role in shaping our perceptions, it is essential to address biases that undervalue the achievements of female athletes. The Correct The Internet campaign serves as a catalyst for change, urging individuals to question and challenge the biases inherent in search engine algorithms. By supporting this movement, we can pave the way for a fairer and more inclusive future.