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Google Apologizes for Racist Michelle Obama Pic

by on Nov.25, 2009, under News

If you search for Michelle Obama on Google images and most likely the first image will be a racially-charged pic of the First Lady of the US.

First Lady of the US

Google is not removing the image but is apologizing for it, using its own ad space.

Its apology goes something like this:

An explanation of our search results.

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

Search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Internet. A site's ranking in Google's search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query.

The beliefs and preferences of those who work at Google, as well as the opinions of the general public, do not determine or impact our search results. Individual citizens and public interest groups do periodically urge us to remove particular links or otherwise adjust search results. Although Google reserves the right to address such requests individually, 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. We will, however, remove pages from our results if we believe the page (or its site) violates our Webmaster Guidelines, if we believe we are required to do so by law, or at the request of the webmaster who is responsible for the page.

We apologize if you've had an upsetting experience using Google. We hope you understand our position regarding offensive results.

Sincerely,
The Google Team

First Lady of the US

The Washington Post reported that Google spokesman Scott Rubin said, "Search results are a reflection of the content on the web. Our search results simply reflect what's out there. According to the way our algorithm works, when we try to deliver the most relevant search results based on other pages that link to it and so on, this is what is returned."

The image was removed but not for being racist but the site that was hosting the image was serving malware. The image was then reuploaded from another site that did not serve malware and it shows up as the first image when "Michelle Obama" is Googled.

The image ranked so high because people were linking to it to condemn it.

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