Google Works Out Deal Concerning 'Jew' Suggestions In France
from the what-kind-of-deal? dept
Back in May, we wrote about a ridiculous lawsuit in France, where Google was being sued because when people searched on the names of certain famous people, sometimes Google’s autocomplete feature would show the name with the word “jew” or “jewish.” Of course, if you understand how Google works, you’d know that this is because a lot of people were searching for the names of those individuals along with the keyword jew or jewish. Those individuals doing the searching may or may not have been doing so for anti-semitic reasons, but it seems ridiculous to blame Google because of what its users were searching for. Also, I’m still at a loss as to why appending the suggestion of “jew” to someone’s name is anti-semitic (and I say that as someone who is Jewish). The specific issue in France is that it’s apparently “illegal to record someone’s ethnicity in a database.” But, of course, that wasn’t what Google was doing either.
Either way, it appears that the lawsuit is being dropped after some sort of “agreement” was reached, though no one seems to want to explain what the agreement entails. The AFP article notes that searches on famous people still do seem to be returning suggestions that include “jew,” so it doesn’t sound like Google manually changed its results, which is a good thing. Instead, the only thing that’s mentioned is that the parties “identified areas of useful cooperation in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism that put an end to the dispute.” While the details may matter here, hopefully it just involves providing more information to people in an effort to fight ignorance, rather than trying to hide information. The fact that people are searching for names along with “jew” may be an indicator that those individuals are anti-semitic, but the way to do deal with that is by confronting ignorance, not hiding it.