Hidden Author Bias in Book Recommendation
Collaborative filtering algorithms have the advantage of not requiring sensitive user or item information to provide recommendations. However, they still suffer from fairness related issues, like popularity bias. In this work, we argue that popularity bias often leads to other biases that are not obvious when additional user or item information is not provided to the researcher. We examine our hypothesis in the book recommendation case on a commonly used dataset with book ratings. We enrich it with author information using publicly available external sources. We find that popular books are mainly written by US citizens in the dataset, and that these books tend to be recommended disproportionally by popular collaborative filtering algorithms compared to the users' profiles. We conclude that the societal implications of popularity bias should be further examined by the scholar community.