Google refuses to remove 'racist' Michelle Obama caricature

17:29 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Google today refused to remove a racist caricature of Michelle Obama that was the first result presented to users of its search engine.

The US firm conceded that the picture – which depicts the US First Lady with the features of a monkey – was offensive but resisted calls to take it down.

The disturbing image was the top result suggested to anyone who typed “Michelle Obama” into Google Images, the firm’s picture search engine.

Complaints about the picture have reignited the debate about how far Google is responsible for the content it archives, and highlighted flaws in the complex calculations it uses to rank the “relevance” of results.

In a rare move, Google posted a message at the top of the results page for Michelle Obama distancing itself from the image.

The note, which appeared in space usually reserved for adverts, stated: “Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree” and directed users to a page explaining the technology giant’s laissez-faire approach to dealing with distasteful search results.

While apologising for any offence caused, the statement read: “Google views the integrity of our search results as an extremely important priority.”

“Accordingly, we do not remove a page from our search results simply because its content is unpopular or because we receive complaints concerning it.”

Google’s search result rankings are dictated by complex algorithms which take into account several hundred factors.

The most powerful element in the calculations is the “popularity” of web pages and images with other web users; the more people link to a web page, the higher it will be in search results.

This usually works as a de facto filtering system ensuring that prurient content does not rate highly for common search terms, but also mean that unexpected results can shoot up the rankings if they receive a flurry of links, as appears to have been the case with the Obama photo.

“They try to cook all this stuff up to come up with what they think is the best result, but in the end they’re just guessing,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Land website.

But despite Google’s stated opposition to self-censorship it does have the power to remove pages from its search results – something it frequently does to child pornography and websites that propagate viruses.

The Obama image had in fact been taken down once before because a previous website on which it was hosted was also infecting users’ computers with malicious software.

This afternoon the offensive picture finally disappeared from the top of Google's results after the latest website on which it appeared, a blog called Hot Girls, agreed to take it down.

A Google spokeswoman told the Telegraph: “We view our search results as a reflection of the content on the web. We do not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as child porn and other illegal content.

“The Internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries. We assure you that the views expressed by such sites in the results are not in any way endorsed by Google.” continues here

Submit A Story

Bookmark and Share

Back to Top

Related Posts by Categories

Post a comment on AAWR

0 Responses to "Google refuses to remove 'racist' Michelle Obama caricature"

Post a Comment

We welcome contributions from all sides of the debate, at AAWR comment is free, AAWR may edit and/or delete your comments if abusive, threatening, illegal or libellous according to our understanding of, no emails will be published. Your comments may be published on other nationalist media sites worldwide.