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Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search

 
Google
User ID: 804066
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12/02/2009 12:07 AM
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Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
(CNN) -- For most of the past week, when someone typed "Michelle Obama" in the popular search engine Google, one of the first images that came up was a picture of the American first lady altered to resemble a monkey.

On Wednesday morning, the racially offensive image appeared to have been removed from any Google Image searches for "Michelle Obama."

Google officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Google faced a firestorm of criticism over the episode. First, it banned the Web site that posted the photo, saying it could spread a kittens 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."

The California-based company then explained 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."

A user alerted Google to the picture via an online help forum two weeks ago.

The altered image can be found here, although clicking on this link will take users to a photo that many will find offensive.

The Internet was abuzz Tuesday and Wednesday with reaction to the image. Some online users demanded that the photo be blocked, while others said it should remain on free speech grounds.

"There is no way to defend this heinous incident," said a Twitter user who gave her name as Alheli Picazo of Calgary, Canada. "People often claim their right to free speech to mask blatant racism and insulting bigotry and always seem to get away with it," she told CNN via e-mail. "When it comes to issues of discrimination, hiding behind free speech just doesn't cut it."

A Twitter user who gave his name as Jerry Wright of Hoboken, New Jersey, disagreed.

"I am absolutely disgusted by this picture, but the Internet has thousands and thousands of offensive images. Should Google get rid of all of them? Where do you draw the line," he asked CNN via e-mail.

In 2004, Google posted a similar note of apology when a search for "Jew" pulled up anti-Semitic sites as top results.

Among the factors that Google uses to rank its results is how many sites link to an image or a Web page. Users have sometimes artificially inflated a search ranking through coordinated efforts, known as "Google bombing."

With Google letting the Obama image stand, a Twitter user who identified herself as Jill Harper of Indianapolis, Indiana, suggested a different tack: Point out the person who posted the photo.

"Instead of Google deleting the photo, there should be a campaign against the person who posted the photo," she said by e-mail. "Make a publicized attack noting the outrage of displaying such an offensive photo. This way, the person who posted it would feel the public outcry to pull the photo."

[link to www.cnn.com]

Idol1
New Age Messiah

User ID: 782948
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12/02/2009 12:13 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
That picture is pretty hideous. But funny.
The Citizen
Mod Emeritus

User ID: 287257
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12/02/2009 12:14 AM

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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
hummmm ...

remember when everyone seemed to think the Bush/chimp pictures were so funny
6473madburger

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." - Winston Churchill
New Age Messiah

User ID: 782948
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12/02/2009 12:17 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
There's the picture.

[link to t3.gstatic.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 804066
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12/02/2009 12:19 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
hummmm ...

remember when everyone seemed to think the Bush/chimp pictures were so funny
 Quoting: The Citizen


Exactly, hell they were put on shirts and sold.
grrttsgar

User ID: 831660
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12/02/2009 12:19 AM

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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
here is the pic.

[link to www.flystylelife.com]

When I first heard about it google came up with "did you mean michelle obama ape" i clicked it and this is what came up.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 829273
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12/02/2009 12:21 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!

:5:
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 804066
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12/02/2009 12:35 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
If you do a google search for George Bush the 13th result is the monkey pic.

[link to images.google.com]

[link to totallylookslike.files.wordpress.com]

If you type in Ape the 4th result is a different George Bush/monkey collage

[link to www.gwjokes.com]

[link to images.google.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 263458
Australia
12/02/2009 12:39 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
It's funny because monkeys look a bit like people!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 627920
United States
12/02/2009 12:41 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
If you do a google search for George Bush the 13th result is the monkey pic.

[link to images.google.com]

[link to totallylookslike.files.wordpress.com]

If you type in Ape the 4th result is a different George Bush/monkey collage

[link to www.gwjokes.com]

[link to images.google.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 804066



You can make fun of any Republican.....but don't dare make fun of a Democrat.......


.
II-Neutron

User ID: 826496
Canada
12/02/2009 12:43 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
here is the pic.

[link to www.flystylelife.com]

When I first heard about it google came up with "did you mean michelle obama ape" i clicked it and this is what came up.
 Quoting: grrttsgar


That is just rude :-)
ii.neutron@gmail.com
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews: 11
PhennommennonnModerator
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User ID: 822984
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12/02/2009 12:44 AM

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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
There's the picture.

[link to t3.gstatic.com]
 Quoting: New Age Messiah

seenun7 :eyebl88:
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The Queen Of Mean / VENOMmennonn

*Dont fuck with me; ill jump on my menstrual cycle & run your ass over ;)
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The universe responds NOT to what you want.....it responds to what you are being.......are you being what you want?
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the karma cafe has no menus. you get served what you deserve
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political correctness is a doctrine.... fostered by a delusional, illogical minority...... and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media; which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
Alan Isaacman
The People Vs Larry Flynt
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard a lot here today and I won't try to go back over it all. But you have to go back in that room and make some decisions and there is one thing I want to make very clear to you before you do. I'm not trying to convince you that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don't like what he does. But what I do like is... that I live in a country... where you and I can make that decision for ourselves. I like that I live in a country where I can pick up Hustler magazine... read it if I want... or throw it in the trash, if that's where I think it belongs. Or better yet I can express my opinion by not buying it. I like that right. I care about it. And you should care about it, too... because we live in a free country. We say that a lot, but sometimes we forget what that means, so listen again. We live in a free country. That is a powerful idea. That's a magnificent way to live. But there is a price for that freedom, which is that sometimes... we have to tolerate things that we don't necessarily like. So go back in that room... where you are free to think whatever you want to think... about Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine. But then ask yourselves if you want to make that decision for the rest of us... because the freedom that everyone in this room enjoys... is, in a very real way, in your hands. If we start throwing up walls against what some of us think is obscene... we may wake up one morning and realize... that walls have been thrown upin places we never expected... and we can't see anythingor... do anything. And that's not freedom. That is not freedom. So, be careful. Thank you."
VIDEO: [link to youtu.be]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 804066
United States
12/02/2009 12:50 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
Funny I am doing some google image searches and take a look where all George Bush appears.

Funny, I dont remember any apologies from google to GWB.

Terrorism - Guess who the first pic is
[link to images.google.com]

Treason - Again first pic
[link to images.google.com]

War Criminal - Again first pic
[link to images.google.com]

Crimes against humanity - 9th pic
[link to images.google.com]

Terrorist - 14th pic -
[link to images.google.com]

[link to www.stearns.org]

Dictatorship - 3rd pic

Evil - 3rd pic
[link to images.google.com]
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 804066
United States
12/02/2009 01:51 AM
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Re: Google apologizes for results of 'Michelle Obama' image search
Do not quote my links.

One of the links sets off an auto-ban.(No DOOM)

Thank you Phoenix for getting my IP unbanned.

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