Search engine Google has removed ‘bisexual’ from its list of words it previously only associated with pornography.
The decision was made after pressure from bisexual community and campaign groups whose rankings on the website fell as a result of being blacklisted by the internet giant’s Auto Complete and Instant Search functions.
‘It’s not every day one of the biggest companies in the world changes its mind, but we are thankful that Google now sees bisexual people just like everyone else,’ said Faith Cheltenham, president of the BiNet USA organization.
‘It will take time for bisexual search terms to be ranked as they were before the ban, but now bisexual people and their allies have a fighting chance to be seen, heard and understood.’
Now that ‘bisexual’ is allowed by Google’s search engine algorithm, terms such as ‘bisexual quotes’, ‘bisexual rights’ and ‘bisexual parenting’ are automatically suggested to users.
However, the lifting of the ban appears to only apply to users in the USA.
When Google Instant was first launched, online gay lifestyle magazine Queerty accused the search engine of censorship over also blocking the word ‘lesbian’.
‘By narrowly restricting their search results to avoid porn, Google Instant has perhaps deprived young lesbians who could benefit from learning about lesbian art or lesbian rights if they only knew to keep typing,’ wrote Daniel Villarreal.
‘Google Instant would do better to combine their current Safe Search filters with Google Instant to offer more robust search results that challenge and educate their users rather than censor them before they’re finished typing.’
Google has been a supporter of gay rights, launching a campaign in July calling on countries to ‘Legalize Love’ – making it legal to be lesbian, gay or bisexual around the world.
It also supported Singapore’s LGBT festival, Pink Dot, in June.