Google Apologizes for “Jew” Offensive Search Results
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Google has taken the unusual step of apologizing for its search results. But only, it seems, for results obtained by searching on the word “Jew”, the results for which have been deemed offensive.

Linked from the top result obtained by searching the word “Jew”, by a link entitled “Offensive Search Results”, the apology starts off by saying “An explanation of our search results – If you recently used Google to search for the word “Jew,” you may have seen results that were very disturbing. We assure you that the views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google. We’d like to explain why you’re seeing these results when you conduct this search.”


Aunty found this entire thing a bit odd. Why should Google apologize for their search results? I mean, isn’t that what they..you know…do? Return search results? And why for the search results for “Jew”, but not for the search results for other words which may be taken as either epithet or endearment, like “fag”, or even, gasp…the N-word? (Or…hey.. “spammer”.)

Well, with a bit more digging, there are three things, probably linked, which one notes about this.

First, the very first result for a search on “Jew” (well, after the “Offensive Search Results” link) is for a very much anti-semitic site, [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead], at https://web.archive.org/web/20181010124334/http://jewwatch.com:80/.

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Second, what Google has to say about the fact that Jew Watch is the first result is this: “Our search results are generated completely objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google. Some people concerned about this issue have created online petitions to encourage us to remove particular links or otherwise adjust search results. Because of our objective and automated ranking system, Google cannot be influenced by these petitions. The only sites we omit are those we are legally compelled to remove or those maliciously attempting to manipulate our results.”

So they were feeling some heat, from some folks who took exception to the “offensive search results”, and are explaining their position.

But third, it wasn’t just the petitioners from whom Google was taking heat for their search results on the word “Jew”. At the very bottom of the apology page one finds this:

 

“p.s. You may be interested in some additional information the Anti-Defamation League has posted about this issue at [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead] https://web.archive.org/web/20121126083424/http://www.adl.org:80/rumors/google_search_rumors.asp”

It turns out that the ADL had contacted Google to make known “its concerns about rankings of extremist Web sites”.

Hence this response by Google.

Now, all that said, it needs to be noted that even though this is in the news on several sites right now, it actually occurred in April of 2004 – why it’s coming up now is anybody’s guess.

However, perhaps most interesting of all is that as we close in on April of 2005 – nearly a year later, guess which website is in the number one position for search results for the word “Jew”? With the apology for the offensive search results right above.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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2 thoughts on “Google Apologizes for “Jew” Offensive Search Results
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  1. It’s incredible !! Google apologyzing :-) It’s the first time I hear something like this.
    Do you know if is there any official letter about that ?

    Regards

  2. Seems Google has now removed the “apology” – maybe to reduce the issue becoming more prominant in the net media.

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