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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Filed Under: autocomplete, banned words, bisexual
Companies: google

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  1. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 12 Sep 2012 @ 10:22pm

    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!

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