Thursday, June 04, 2015

Google "apology" for confusion?: No change in "top 10 criminals" result, search engine says they don't reflect its view

Google now says the image of Modi does not "reflect" its opinion
By Our Representative
Internet giant Google may have conditional a conditional apology "for any confusion or misunderstanding" caused on image search results showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of the ten on "top 10 criminals”. However, in what may prove to be an embarrassment to #Moditards on twitter who had gone berserk demanding action against Google, the top search engine did not removed the Modi image from the search result whole of Thursday.
In fact, latest search on Google image for “top ten images” finds the image remaining where it was, though a line has been added atop which says, “These results don’t reflect Google’s opinion or our beliefs; our algorithms automatically matched the query to web pages with these images.”
The fresh search for “top 10 criminals” throws up scores of images, and the results again put Modi twice in the very first row, with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim appearing the second row. A click on a few of the images leads that appear after the Google image search for “top 10 criminals” takes one to http://topyaps.com/top-10-criminals-of-world.
The site has following “top ten criminals” – Omid Tahlivi (Persia), James Whitey Bugler (Amercia), Al Capone (America), Matteo Messina Denaro (Italy), Joseph Kony (Uganda), Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov (Russia), Felicien Kabuga (Rwanda), Pedro Antonio Marin (Colombia), Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar (India), and Joaquin Guzman (Mexico).
Interestingly, there is no mention of Modi here, as Google’s “algorithm” finds it on its image search section. However, It added, “results” to the query “top 10 criminals" was due to a British daily which had an image of Modi and erroneous metadata. A click on one of the two images leads one to a July 28, 2014 article “Top Indian educationalist accused of racism over portrayal of criminal ‘negroes’” published in The Telegraph.
The article, authored by Dean Nelson, refers to Dinanath Batra’s controversial books introduced in Gujarat schools. Sub-title of the book says, “A leading Indian schools advisor has been criticised over textbooks which described 'negroes' as under-cooked rotis and violent criminals”, pointing out, “A leading Hindu educationalist supported by India’s new prime minister Narendra Modi has been accused of racism over his portrayal of ‘negroes’ as violent, half-baked criminals in school text books.”
A Google “apology” has over “top 10 criminals said, “The 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. We apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding this has caused. We're continually working to improve our algorithms to prevent unexpected results like this."
It said that in this case, the image search results were drawn from “multiple news articles with images of Modi, covering the prime minister's statements with regard to politicians with criminal backgrounds, but added that the news articles “do not link Modi to criminal activity, and the words just appeared in close proximity to each other.”
News site The News Minute, which broke the news about Google image search of “top ten criminals”, comments, “This is not the first time Google has thrown up puzzling and even defamatory results on its search engine. In November 2009, Google was at the centre of a controversy over a doctored photo of Michelle Obama with ape-like features showing up when the First Lady's name was searched on the site.”
Said the site, “Daily Mail” first reported that the image appeared at the top of hundreds of results when web users searched for images of the First Lady. “The prominence of the photo, above legitimate pictures of Michelle Obama, provoked an outcry after Google refused to remove it. Under criticism, Google first banned the website that posted the photo, saying it could spread a malware virus.” It added, “When the image appeared on another website, Google let the photo stand.”
It quotes from a Google ad which says, "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."

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