Google refuses to change search saying ‘gayest’ means ‘worst’

Petititon accuses most visited website in the world to be 'blatantly encouraging gay shaming culture'

Google refuses to change search saying ‘gayest’ means ‘worst’
24 May 2013

Google has refused to change the search results saying ‘gayest’ means the exact same thing as ‘worst’.

When searching for ‘gayest trends’ on Google, it will list the ’10 worst men’s fashion trends of the decade’ among its results, with ‘worst’ being bolded.

The way Google algorithms work is if you’re searching for ‘hilarious videos’, Google will also show ‘funny videos’ too. Words Google considers to be synonyms will pop up in bold in search results.

Another search for the ‘gayest Disney movies’ will take the user to the ‘eight worst movies in Disney history’. It is only the fourth link that takes you to the ‘queerest Disney movies’.

This means in Google’s algorithms, they consider ‘gayest’ and ‘worst’ to mean the same thing.

In a statement made to Buzzfeed and Gay Star News, a Google spokesman said: ‘Google’s results, including when a search term is synonymised with another, are a reflection of content on the web and how people search.

‘These results are determined by algorithms and we don’t manually correct this process, but we are always looking at how we can improve our systems.’

A petition calling on Google to clean up their search results has 195 signatures at the time of writing.

It states: ‘Google is an enormously influential company. By automatically including the word "worst" in the presentation of search results as a synonym when the word "gayest" is entered, this organization is blatantly encouraging gay shaming culture.

‘Those who actually intend the word to be pejorative have their bigotry validated when their politically incorrect search yields the results they originally set out for.

‘It reinforces the idea that gay shaming is acceptable. Such ignorance cannot be tolerated.’

Last year, Google launched a campaign calling on countries to ‘Legalize Love’ – making it legal to be lesbian, gay or bisexual around the world.

It started by tackling places where it is illegal to be gay, or where there are other anti-gay laws or where the culture is homophobic.

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