Red-faced Google apologizes for Indian PM being on ‘top 10 criminals’ search
Google had to apologize their image search listing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in search results for “top 10 criminals” with the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Al Capone.
The image of Modi pops up first and then features frequently among notorious terrorists, gangsters, serial killers and dictators when the image search on the website is used.
Besides Bin Laden and Capone, among those listed in the results for “top 10 criminals” were Mexican drug cartel boss El Chapo Guzman, Uganda guerilla leader Joseph Konny, convicted ex-football player O.J. Simpson and 1993 Mumbai bombings mastermind, Dawood Ibrahim.
The Indian PM got into such a bad company because an unspecified “British daily publishing an image of Modi with erroneous metadata,” Google spokesman told Time magazine.
The search giant spokesman stressed that "these results trouble us and are not reflective of the opinions of Google.”
"Sometimes, the way images are described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries,” he explained.
“We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding this has caused,” the spokesman stressed, adding that Google is putting in a lot of effort “to prevent unexpected [search] results like this” in the future.
The photos of George W. Bush, Bill Gates and Justin Bieber are also shown in the image results for the “top 10 criminals” search.
It wasn’t withinin Google’s power to remove Modi from the results, but the company put a disclaimer below the search box reading: “These results don’t reflect Google’s opinion or our beliefs; our algorithms automatically matched the query to web pages with these images.”
Many Indians were shocked and upset to see the PM among top the list, with some Twitter users demanding legal action against Google.
Do a google search for "top 10 criminals" and you get the usual suspects.. Capone, Garcia, Bush.. Modi.. Wait.. What? pic.twitter.com/NScusY03TV
— Feminist Batman (@Bruise_Vain) June 3, 2015
— Suvie Ritu Chandra (@SuvalagnaC) June 3, 2015
But there were also plenty of sarcastic comments, with some suggesting that Modi’s supporters would now have to switch to other search engines.
Google "top 10 criminals in the world" you will see Narendra Modi photo. Will google be banned in India?
— Cyber Activist (@ravivermaravi) June 3, 2015
After Google search of top 10 criminals, Being a Modi Fan is not that easy, you've to use Yahoo instead of Google.
— EngiNerd. (@mainbhiengineer) June 3, 2015
In May, the search giant was also had apologize after searches with racist terms in connection with US President, Barack Obama, found the location of the White House on Google maps.