Exposure Gerrymandering

Search Engine Manipulation Flying under Fairness’ Radar

by Tim de Jonge

Modern society increasingly relies on Information Retrieval (IR) systems to answer various information needs. Since this impacts society in many ways, there has been a great deal of work to ensure the fairness of these systems, and to prevent societal harms. The Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) is one such societal harm: voters could be influenced by means of these systems by showing biased search results. This paper introduces the notion of Exposure Gerrymandering, to illustrate how nefarious actors could create a system that appears unbiased to common fairness assessments, while substantially influencing the election at hand.

Presented on 20 July at Future Directions in Information Access
(FDIA 2022) at Lisbon, Portugal.

[download pdf]