Google Explains Racist Search ResultsS

Apparently, if you search for Michelle Obama in Google images, the first thing that appears is not a likeness of the First Lady, but instead an extremely offensive and racist picture.

First of all, we suggest you refrain from searching. The picture that comes up is not of Michelle Obama. To put it bluntly: It's a picture of a monkey with earrings. But even more disturbing than the image itself is the fact that it shows up as the first picture on a major search engine.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there is too much that Google can or will do. Last week, when the image first appeared on the search engine, they were able to remove the picture on the grounds that the website hosting the image was infected with malware. However, the image has been reposted on other websites that are virus-free and otherwise comply with Google's rules. It appears that the picture is the result of a Google bomb - an organized effort to change search results by linking repeatedly to a web page or image with certain key terms. Google has issued an apology. Sort of. Above the picture Google has used their adspace to run this message: "Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree. Read more." If you click on the link, you are directed to this message:

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.

Google is sorry, but until the algorithms change, the picture will remain at the top of the image search.

Offensive Michelle Obama Image Returns, Google Buys Ad To Explain [Search Engine Land]
Google: Michelle Obama Pic Not Our Fault [CBS]
Google: An Explanation Of Our Search Results