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Google Maps: offensive search results came from 'online discussions'

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
May 21, 2015
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Google is constantly scraping the internet to fill out its search results, but apparently using crowdsourced information can have its drawbacks. Over the last couple of days word spread that searching for certain racial slurs (guess) showed the White House as the top result, and now Google is offering an explanation why. Unlike the MapMaker-inserted Android/Apple logo prank, Google says the results popped up "because people had used the offensive term in online discussions of the place." Other than blaming the internet, the team is updating its algorithm to fix the issue and is updating its ranking system to address "the majority" of those searches. Marketing Land found a few entries that led to the White House, none of which worked when we tried them today. It looks like certain offensive terms are now being blocked from showing results at all, although creative minds may be able to poke holes in the filter.

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