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.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...