Google Apologizes for Monkey Business

Published November 26, 2009

Google says it’s sorry for the weeklong goof-up that resulted in Internet users pulling up a monkey-like image of Michelle Obama when they typed in the first lady’s name.

On Wednesday, according to CNN, “the racially offensive image,” which was one of the first to appear when Michelle Obama’s name was searched, “appeared to have been removed from any Google Image searches” of the first lady.

Users blasted Google over the matter. Initially, CNN reports, Google banned the Web site that posted the photo, saying it could spread a malware virus. “Then, when the image appeared on another Web site, Google let the photo stand. When a Google image search brought up the photo, an apologetic Google ad occasionally appeared above it. The ad redirected users to a statement from Google which read, ‘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.’”

Google, based in California, also noted that search results rely on computer algorithms that take into account thousands of factors.

"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," it said.

The company said that the integrity of its search results is extremely important.

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

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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