The Racist Michelle Obama Photo And WTF Is Up With Google?

November 25th, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

HuffPo reports today that the racist Michelle Obama photo depicting the First Lady as a monkey which appeared at the top of Google Images search results has been taken down by its host site.

The removal of the photo from “Hot Girls” was accompanied by an apology in Chinese and English:

Screen shot 2009-11-25 at 11.21.59 AM

The Chinese reads:

THIS IS THE TEXTBOOK DEFINITION OF “DISGRASIAN.” DIANA AND JEN, I’M BEGGING YOU, PLEASE DON’T SHOVE YOUR BOOTS UP MY RECTUM.

And sure enough, the offensive image no longer comes up first or second in a Google Images search on any SafeSearch setting. There has been, however, one disturbing new development. Now, when you type “Michelle Obama” into a Google Images search with SafeSearch set to either “Moderate” or off, you’re offered this “Related search” option:

Screen shot 2009-11-25 at 2.23.51 PM

Jesus, Google. Who’s writing your awesome algorithms? You’re gonna have to take out a whole other ad to explain away this whatthefuckery.

[HuffPo: Michelle Obama Pictures UPDATE: Offensive Image REMOVED, Google 'SORRY' (PHOTO)]

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2 Responses to “The Racist Michelle Obama Photo And WTF Is Up With Google?”

  1. Simon says:

    Has anyone offered to proof-read their apology? I would consider it “foreign affairs” cred.

    Happy Thanksgiving Disgrasian!

  2. Sara says:

    I’m a huge fan of your site, and read it every day. But! (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) In this case I think you’re wrong. Google really does work by algorithms, and I can understand why they consider those algorithms sacred.

    In simple terms: the reason google search suggests Michelle Obama Monkey as a search terms is because a crap ton of people used that search term to find the picture you guys are talking about after the blogosphere spread the news about it. If it’s googled often, google’s algorithms (yeah, them again) will consider it a popular search terms and suggest it. Simple as that, nobody in google HQs has anything to do with that, and I’m pretty sure most of them would like to remove such things (would certainly make things easier for them, right? avoid the stuff that causes confrontation and negative publicity) if their company policy wasn’t so clearly against messing with the search algorithms.

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