Google says sorry for offensive Michelle Obama image
Wednesday 25 November 2009
Google is apologizing for a racially offensive image of the First Lady that appears at the top of the list when users search for pictures of Michelle Obama on its site.
Google placed a text ad above the image titled "Offensive Search Results" that states "Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree."
Users who then click on the ad are directed to a letter from Google that explains its results "can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries" but notes that Google doesn't endorse content on these websites.
Google says its search formula relies on thousands of factors to rank a web page's importance, and says it doesn't eliminate search results simply because of user complaints.
However, Google says it will take down images in certain cases, such as when required by law to do so.
"We apologise if you've had an upsetting experience using Google," the company wrote.
Mountain View, California-based Google also posted about the issue in a user support forum.
Spokesman Scott Rubin would not elaborate on how the image ended up as the number-one result for the first lady.
He said the company did remove one site displaying the image from its results because it included viruses, which Google policy prohibits. But a different website later posted the same image, he said.
The White House declined to comment.
This is not the first time Google has apologised for content in its search results. The company issued a similar response in 2004 when the top result for the term "Jew" pointed to an anti-Semitic website.
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Queen to miss Nelson Mandela funeral over security and long-haul flight concerns
'Never a good time to increase MPs' pay': Jack Straw defends politicians' 11% pay rise in face of public outrage
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £100000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior C++ De...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£23999 - £32001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: An independent ac...