Google Drops 'Bisexual' From Its Taboo Words List

from the might-have-to-replace-it-with-'Santorum' dept

While I just wrote about the difficulty Google has put itself in with its selective enforcement of banning autocomplete terms, the search company also recently removed one such term from its oft-referred to “dirty words” list, which de-prioritizes results in its search algorithm.

The Advocate has the story of how, at the urging of bisexual advocacy organization BiNet USA, Google has dropped the word Bisexual from the results-altering list.

At the urging of bisexual advocacy organization BiNet USA, Google unblocked the term “bisexual,” and phrases such as “bisexual quotes,” “bisexual rights,” and “bisexual parenting” are now automatically suggested to Google users as of this month.

According to the article, since 2009, the word “bisexual” has been considered to be of the same ilk for Google search results as such fun terms as: bestiality, baby batter, gang bang, goatse, and many more (hat tip to 2600, and fair warning: if words can be NSFW, some of those are). While not all of those demoted search terms are treated equally, the idea that “bisexual” ranks as a banned word is ridiculous.

No matter what you think of bisexuality, the word “bisexual” is not a “dirty” word. To have “bisexual” on the list when “heterosexual”, “homosexual”, “trisexual” and “asexual” are not was just stupid. Fortunately, the Goog has reversed policy and dropped the word from the list completely. As BiNet USA notes, it will take some time for the search results to catch up, but at least the bisexual community can begin to be heard.

“It’s not every day one of the biggest companies in the world changes its mind, but we are thankful that Google now sees bisexual people just like everyone else,” said BiNet USA president Faith Cheltenham. “It will take time for bisexual search terms to be ranked as they were before the ban, but now bisexual people and their allies have a fighting chance to be seen, heard, and understood.”

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Comments on “Google Drops 'Bisexual' From Its Taboo Words List”

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Who cares anyway?

I nver understood the purpose of the auto-complete feature. To me it was as annoying as the person that tries to finish your sentences as you speak. Is being relieved of typing a few letters all that worthwhile? I turned off that annoyance as soon as it appeared. Is there something wrong with me? Obviously others think it is useful. Why?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

"Dirty" is in the eye of the beholder

A worthwhile quote from memory.
You shouldn’t be concerned about the n word, the n word is just a word. What you should be concerned about is the racist screaming it on the corner.

We think if we keep the naughty words naughty we don’t have to deal with the real issues that some people are bad people. They say the word to get a reaction, a reaction we reenforce by keeping the word “naughty” and gasping when they say it. They want to provoke a reaction and get really angry when you don’t respond like pavlovs dog.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

What frightens me is that I can see a group of pale puritianical types in a cube farm somewhere on floor B-124 at Google staying up all night thinking this stuff up, deciding which space position the censorship will begin at.

Entirely for our own good, you understand. We need to be protected from perfectly good Anglo-Saxon words while words that originated in French before becoming part of English which every serious perv knows are left completely alone!

Ninja (profile) says:

They should drop the moralism and keep the math. If they must, instead of downgrading the results they should emphasize (or upgrade) the definition results so the unsuspecting visitor will first get to know the meaning before clicking the ones with ‘content’.

Thinking about it there are 2 things that should be noted: first if the auto-complete list is suggesting the term then there’s a social issue there and censoring it will not solve the problem but rather bury it.

Second, if I am looking for the term I’m either complete ignorant on it (hence the benefit of putting the definition results first) or I’m actively looking for material on that term and I probably don’t have a problem in going through a few search pages to get the bottom results.

80sRelic (profile) says:

Wanna See A List?

I did… Starting to type in “autocomplete banned w” made “google autocomplete banned words” show up in the search box!

The folks at 2600 came up with a list:

At The Daily Beast, there’s a (humorous) picture gallery of “18 Things Google Does Not Want Us To See”:

Mr. Manley Mann says:


I think you mean C-7 🙂

This will probably be my last post until “people” actually pull their heads out of their… which means a long long time

Oh! Does this have anything to do with being “Bi-Sexual”?

buy bye!

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