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11 Things Google Should Atone For On Its 11th Anniversary
written by Sam Greenspan

Yesterday was Google's 11th anniversary. Yesterday night also began the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

I decided to combine those two things and put together this list of 11 things Google should atone for.

11. Just because they're taking over the world doesn't mean you should be terrified of them.

This is the first of (many) forthcoming examples of Google's racially-insensitive suggestions. These suggestions also have no relevance to me: I'm way more terrified of the invisible man and pregnancy than of Chinese people.



10. Google AdSense P3WNAGE!

Clearly, virgins-guide.com followed their instincts about where they could find potential readers. Still, Google's pretty rude for matching up a "world of warcraft" search with the ad for virgins. They really should've steered the virgin ads toward people searching for "Jonas Brothers" or "bags of sand."



9. If Everybody Cared

Just because this made me laugh out loud doesn't make it any less mean, Google. (By the way, Google had corrected a lot of the things on this list... but this one still works.)



8. You couldn't even include the word "do".

Why Google has to produce racist search suggestions that make you say them in stereotypical voice?



7. Stolen cars are no joke

Anyone who's been here from the beginning may remember my car was stolen about 18 months ago. And as I say in point #6 of the list 11 Things the Car Thieves Didn't Take, the police agreed with Google in assuming that black people stole my car.

Anyway, as bad of a gaffe as this was by Google, the real crime here is that only one person got a screenshot of it before it went down... and that person has a Canon Easy-WebPrint toolbar in their browser. Get with the times, guy! All that's missing from this screenshot is the AllAdvantage ad bar somewhere on screen.



6. Google is racist against white people, too

I didn't even know that smelling like wet dogs was a white stereotype! Do we really? I should do a list of 11 new, weird racial stereotypes. Just not on Yom Kippur.



5. Captchastration

Yes, I dared to create the word Captchastration.



4. Women can't be inventors?

For a brief period there, Google did a lot of gender-related suggesting. She invented led to "did you mean he invented?" The same thing happened with she scored, she instructed, she saved, she discovered and she golfed.

For reference, women are great inventors. They invent drama every day! (HI-YO! I'm just kidding ladies! Hopefully that comment won't stop you from inventing me some pancakes!)



3. Even with the economy ravaging the city, anything still goes in Vegas.

As restaurant after restaurant exoduses from Vegas, the city's best remaining chefs might just be the meth ones.



2. It's not a website with live streaming cameras inside of comedy clubs and delis.

For a long time, when you Googled the word "jew," the first site to come up was Jew Watch... which is a hate site directed against Jews. (It's since been supplanted at the top by the Wikipedia entries for "jew" and "judaism"... but remains number three.)

Instead of taking it down, Google runs an ad on the page explaining "Offensive Search Results." To sum it up, they say that "Jew" is generally used pejoratively by hate groups, while real people are more inclined to use the word "Jewish." And thus, Google's search algorithm ends up with hate sites ranking at the top of the search results for "jew."

That's fine, Google. The word "Firefox" ranks at the top when I search my brain for "good web browser."



1. Google's sense of humor.

Well Google... they sure are.




This post was originally published on Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:00:00 PM under the category Web & Tech.

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