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Google Autocomplete Reveals Magnitude Of Disturbing Anti-Gay Discrimination

Google's auto-complete comes in handy more often than not, but when certain phrases are entered into the world's No. 1 search engine, the completed predictions are nothing short of disturbing. 

You may have noticed the U.N. Women's new campaign featuring real Google auto-complete phrases based on simple entries like "women need to," "women cannot" and "women should" floating around the social web this week. Just as shocking as the examples found in that organization's effective campaign are results that arise when "gays" are substituted for "women." 

An example of auto-complete results include:

"Gays should..."

"...be killed"

"...die"

"...not adopt"

 

"Gays need to..."

"...be put to death"

"...stop whining"

"...shut up"

What are we looking at here, exactly? 

Here, Google explains the auto-complete feature:

As you type, autocomplete predicts and displays queries to choose from. The search queries that you see as part of autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google. If you're signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, you might also see search queries from relevant searches that you've done in the past. In addition, Google+ profiles can sometimes appear in autocomplete when you search for a person's name. Apart from the Google+ profiles that may appear, all of the predicted queries that are shown in the drop-down list have been typed previously by Google users or appear on the web.

The Guardian goes deeper:

Autocomplete is the computational equivalent of the real-world smartarse who finishes other people's sentences for them. But while that smartarse may operate via hunches, autocomplete works via algorithms. Input just a few characters and the algorithm will mine through search data in order to anticipate what you're looking for, based on what other people have searched for in the past.

Autocomplete suggestions differ according to variables such as region and time, but there tends to be a degree of consistency across results. So when I replicated the UN Women campaign search terms from New York on Monday night, the top three suggestions for "Women need to…" were: "Women need to shut up," "Women need to grow up," and "Women need to know their place". Trying the term "Men need to …" generated "Men need to ejaculate", "Men need to feel needed". Oh and it seems "Men need to grow up" too. So there's one small win for gender equality.

Google has become something of the secular equivalent of a confessional box. Within the confines of a search bar you can ask questions or express opinions you would never admit to in public. Our most popular searches are, to some degree, an uncensored chronicle of what, as a society, we're thinking but not necessarily saying.

That said, are you still surprised by some of the auto-completes for the search term "gays," Instincters?

Comments

Don't say goodbye to Google, they haven't done this.  Autocomplete shows the common searches.  This is a problem with the world, not Google.  If Google were to take these autocomplete's away, it would just be hiding a world-wide problem.

I care and I think this closed bigoted minded supposedly Christian crap has to stop - gays were made by god and are wonderful, talented, etc but most importantly they are people and all people need to be treated equally - shame shame on google for helping to spread bigotry and while we are at it shame on facebook for posting all the sex trade ads for asian women and half nude men and women - my children use theses apts - what are we becoming.

I don't need to be subjected to this. Good bye Google.

This is pretty abhorrent, but do not think for a second that it is limited to homosexuals. Try replacing the word 'Gays' with 'Blacks', or 'Muslims' and you will see how intrinsically hateful the human race is.

Yeah, except for when you get to the "cannot" portion -- only one group is legally denied rights.

Also the problem with these google suggestions is that people click on them out of curiosity or horror and perpetuate their place at the top of the suggestion list. I've done it.

Go to google and see the autocorrect for "Straight men need to be"  and see that the prejudice is universal.

Um...not really. When I enter "straight men can", the results I get as "can't cook," "can't get HIV," and "can't dance." I don' know what to tell you if you think a stereotype about not being able to dance is equal to adopting a child. Also, if you type "Gays can," one of the first things on the list is "gays can be refused service." Totally equitable to dancing.

NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS

YOU don"t care ... and following your logic ---YOU ARE NO ONE !

In two words: You're wrong. I even used 'you're' properly. So, the fact that you don't care about this, doesn't mean there aren't tens of thousands of other people who do. Speak for yourself, and not others.

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