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Shutterstock's Suggestions for "American Family" Stock Photos: All Black Families
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March 30, 2015, 09:04 AM
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Shutterstock.com is a vendor of stock photos for editorial purposes. You can search their vast library of copyrighted pictures, find the one you want, and pay them to get the image without the “Shutterstock” watermark.

A friend points out that if you go to Shutterstock.com and search for “American family,” the top choices are all black families. Above is a screenshot of the top 15, but they go on like this for hundreds and hundreds of pictures of black families. After a couple of hundred black (or mixed race) families (most of them fairly light-skinned), there is finally a picture of a white guy and his Asian wife and Eurasian baby.

I presumed that this was some kind of technical search glitch caused by the phrase “African American.” But Shutterstock lets you refine your search to just one ethnicity, so if you specify “Caucasian (white)” and search for “American family” you get … pretty much the same thing: overwhelmingly black. Not until the 19th photo do you get a picture of an all white family. So I don’t know what’s going on.