Standing true to the saying that ‘nothing is perfect’, Google, despite emerging as a boon for those who depend upon it for crucial information, sometimes get things wrong.
Generally, billions depend on the search engine giant for information on a range of topics, but what if this popular source handed many dependents incorrect facts and figures.
Here are some of the blunders made by Google ranging from the ridiculous, to the ridiculously offensive searches, which made it suffer:
- In 2015, Google’s translation tool suggested a number of offensive translations for the word “gay”. When gay was translated from English to Russian, French, Spanish, or Portuguese, it gave results like “fag,” “faggot,” “queen,” “fairy,” “sodomite,” and “pansy boy.” Google apologised for the same after 50,000 people signed a petition on ‘AllOut’ calling for a change.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s images started appearing in image search results for query on “Top 10 criminals in India” on Google last year. Google said the image search results were drawn from multiple news articles with images of Modi and his statements with regard to politicians with criminal background.
- After listing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the list of Top 10 criminals, a Google search also listed him among the ‘Most Stupid Prime Ministers Of The World’. This spread in social media like wildfire and forced Google to apologise to PM Modi for the embarrassing list.
- A search for keywords like “anti-national”, “sedition”, “patriotism” and “Bharat mata ki jai” on Google Maps was directing users to JNU or Delhi’s Jawaharlal University, where three students, were arrested for allegedly raising anti-national slogans. Google later resolved the problem.
- Searches in Google for “nigger house”, in a global view of the world, and for “nigger king”, when focused on, gave a result of Washington DC, The White House, the home of the US president Barack Obama. Google has apologised for offence caused by damage of its Maps tools that meant that users searching for racist terms were being sent to White House.
- Last year, a Google Image search result for two black men was “gang,” and for the same photo with a black and white man was “art”. Understandably, this heated up the issue of racial discrimination.
- Google photo app also last year tagged two black people as “Gorillas.”Google apologized and said it’s tweaking its algorithms to fix the problem. The glitch also raked up the issue of racial discrimination.
- Google said that Guardian, the UK-based newspaper got 85 percent of its traffic directly and less than 10 percent from Google, which it later took back. Google apologised after it citied wrong traffic stats for the newspaper in a response to the European commission’s antitrust charges against the tech firm.
- Last year, an android logo urinating on Apple popped up on Google maps for which the tech giant issued a statement apologising for the picture. The visual was located in Pakistan near the city of Rawalpindi, and was added to Google Maps through Map Maker, a feature that allows users to add content and additional information to Google Maps.
- In 2014, a Berlin intersection was renamed as Adolf-Hitler-Platz instead of its proper name Theodor-Heuss-Platz on a Google map service. Google released a report and said that a lot of streets and squares were named after Hitler during his 1933-1945 dictatorship, and the Berlin intersection sits on what the Nazis envisioned as the capital’s main east-west axis for a redesign of the city that was never completed.