Cover of Not My Type by Apryl Williams, with a Foreword by Safiya Noble
Not My Type
Automating Sexual Racism in Online Dating
Apryl Williams, with a Foreword by Safiya Noble

February 2024
268 pages.
from $28.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503635043
Paperback ISBN: 9781503635050


Excerpts and More

In the world of online dating, race-based discrimination is not only tolerated, but encouraged as part of a pervasive belief that it is simply a neutral, personal choice about one's romantic partner. Indeed, it is so much a part of our inherited wisdom about dating and romance that it actually directs the algorithmic infrastructures of most major online dating platforms, such that they openly reproduce racist and sexist hierarchies. In Not My Type: Automating Sexual Racism in Online Dating, Apryl Williams presents a socio-technical exploration of dating platforms' algorithms, their lack of transparency, the legal and ethical discourse in these companies' community guidelines, and accounts from individual users in order to argue that sexual racism is a central feature of today's online dating culture. She discusses this reality in the context of facial recognition and sorting software as well as user experiences, drawing parallels to the long history of eugenics and banned interracial partnerships. Ultimately, Williams calls for, both a reconceptualization of the technology and policies that govern dating agencies, and also a reexamination of sociocultural beliefs about attraction, beauty, and desirability.

About the authors

Apryl Williams is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Communication & Media and the Digital Studies Institute. She is also a Senior Fellow in Trustworthy AI and a Faculty Associate at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Her research has been published in Big Data & Society, Ethnicities, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Social Media & Society, among others.