Google Instant Blacklist Attributed to Imperfect Autocomplete

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-09-30 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Publication 2600 compiled a Google Blacklist of search queries people won't find computed via Google Instant. Google said it's due to an autocomplete system that needs work.

Google chalked up a so-called blacklist of search terms people found banned when using the new Google Instant predictive search technology to an autocomplete system the company is continuing to refine.

Publication 2600 compiled the list of words that won't surface when users search for them using Google Instant, which renders results automatically on the fly.

This list includes single terms such as "amateur," "lesbian" and "bisexual" and compound queries such as "barenaked ladies" (this is a band) and "girls gone wild" (this is a line of reality TV videos where women bare themselves).

Words that aren't blacklisted include "sadist," "feminazi" and "commie." To see results for blacklisted words, users must hit enter. 2600 discussed the so-called Google Blacklist (found via Mashable):

"Like everything these days, great care must be taken to ensure that as few people as possible are offended by anything. Google Instant is no exception. Somewhere within Google there exists a master list of 'bad words' and evil concepts that Google Instant is programmed to not act upon, lest someone see something offensive in the instant results... even if that's exactly what they typed into the search bar. We call it Google Blacklist."

2600 invited users to test the blacklist themselves by first typing in "puppy" and then "bitch," which is a word used to describe a female dog that has been for years used as a derogatory term for, among other things, a disliked female.

Results for "puppy" fill the screen with Google Instant, while "bitch" using the same technology requires users to manually hit the enter key to complete the search.

The point, 2600 argued, is that Google Instant is being used as a tool that can be "filtered, controlled and ultimately suppressed." 2600 punctuated the insinuation that Google is censoring its search by noting:  "It is indeed a good thing that Google isn't evil."

This "filtering" is the way Google's Autocomplete technology has worked for a few years, predating Google Instant, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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