Google has removed some of its search suggestions, including the phrase “are Jews evil,” which had been automatically generated by its search algorithm.
As of Monday, the phrase was no longer suggested to a user who typed in only the words “are Jews,” The Guardian reported.
Google also removed suggestions for other offensive search phrases pertaining to women that were brought up Sunday in a Guardian article. The phrase “are Muslims bad,” another wording brought up in the article, still appears when a user types in “are Muslims.”
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“We took action within hours of being notified on Friday of the autocomplete results,” a Google spokesperson told The Guardian on Monday.
“Our search results are a reflection of the content across the web. This means that sometimes unpleasant portrayals of sensitive subject matter online can affect what search results appear for a given query. These results don’t reflect Google’s own opinions or beliefs – as a company, we strongly value a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures.
The spokesperson said the autocomplete predictions are generated algorithmically based on the search activity and interests of users.
“Users search for such a wide range of material on the web – 15% of searches we see every day are new. Because of this, terms that appear in autocomplete may be unexpected or unpleasant. We do our best to prevent offensive terms, like porn and hate speech, from appearing, but we acknowledge that autocomplete isn’t an exact science and we’re always working to improve our algorithms,” the spokesperson said.
Google took similar action last year when it removed anti-Semitic responses to the search phrase “Who runs Hollywood?”