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Why Google Instant Blocks “Lesbian” 

Why Google Instant Blocks “Lesbian” 


A Google employee claims to have an explanation for why words like "lesbian" and "Latina" are blocked from Google Instant -- according to a post on a help forum, the words are chosen by computer algorithm rather than human editors.

According to the post, found and reprinted by The Daily Beast,"The algorithms we use to remove a prediction from autocomplete consider a variety of factors. Among other things, we exclude predictions for queries when the query itself appears to be pornographic, violent or hateful. ... Importantly, we also consider the search results themselves for given queries. So, if the results for a particular query seem pornographic, our algorithms may remove that query from autocomplete even if the query itself wouldn't otherwise violate our policies."

Interestingly, that process doesn't extend to words like "dyke," a word typically considered far more offensive than "lesbian." Gawker also notes that none of the first page of results for "lesbian" are pornographic, "unless you have an extremely jaded view of the syndicated TV series Xena: Warrior Princess."

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