Do Better, Google.

News of Nia Wilson ripped across my Twitter. While scrolling through the #Sayhername and #YouOKsis hashtag, I saw this…

I recognized Nia Wilson. But who were the others mentioned in the tweet? I began to Google and learned about the brutal killings of 4 other black women killed within the same week as Nia Wilson.

LaTonya Richards was found murdered in her car, with a gunshot to the head. Authorities believe it was the result of a domestic dispute.

MeShon Cooper was murdered by a sick white supremacist. Family members apparently “weren’t surprised” to hear he did it.

Kishana Harley — a mother of four and social activist — was found brutally murdered in her Richmond, CA apartment.

But when I searched Google for news stories on Sasha Garden, I couldn’t find anything. When I tried searching for Sasha Garden, I got a hodgepodge of search results; including footage from an electronic music show and the FB page of a Sims-like cottage in Kenya. How is it that Google’s spiders were lagging so hard that they failed to serve me information about what should be a major news story.

Google deploys spiders out into the ether to “crawl” (essentially, scan the contents of) websites, determine how valuable the information on each page is, and display that information on the search results page. How was Google not deeming information about this recent murder case important or relevant to my search? Why was some random EDM show taking precedence in the search results?

I typed in Sasha Garden again.

I scrolled to find the murder story I was looking for. No results on the first page.

I switched to the news results tab. Nothing related.

I finally wrote Sasha Garden as “Sasha Garden” with quotations around the words to emphasize I was looking for news about this name. Finally, the stories appeared and I could read what I had come to Google for.

We throw shade at the media for their lack of reporting on the murder of black women. And we should. But when faced with this chicken-or-egg problem, why stop with the media? We need our browsers to step up and start informing just as much as we expect the news to.

I want Google to take responsibility for informing the public just as much as any other news outlet. Google, #SayHerName.

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