19 Feb 2019
Google 'best toilet paper' and images of Pakistan's flag appear
Pakistan has been on the forefront of criticism these days after a deadly terrorist attack on Indian CRPF jawans in Pulwama was carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed last week. And, rightly so.
Now, if you search images of the 'best toilet paper in the world' on Google, it returns the stories, pictures, and links to Pakistan's green and white national flag.
Netizens sharing screenshots of search results on social media websites
The technical glitch on Google Search results was seen a few days after the February 14 attack, in which over 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
Screenshots of the search results can be seen on social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Also, a query search about toilet paper or 'best China-made toilet paper' on Google shows media-reports about the toilet paper-national flag link.
Google search algorithm presumably rigged
It is important to understand that rigging/manipulating Google search results is possible.
Google's search algorithm is presumed to have picked up a combination of words from the comments, which connect 'toilet paper' and 'Pakistan'.
Further, people sharing the flag-toilet paper images must have also manipulated the search results.
We haven't found evidence of such search results: Google
Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson told IANS, "While we continue to investigate the matter, we haven't found any evidence that Google Images was ranking the Pakistani flag in response to this particular search."
"Many news outlets wrote about an old screenshot from a meme-website that's inconsistent with our user interface...dating back to 2017, and we haven't seen any independent verification of these results," he added.
Previously, on searching 'idiot', Donald Trump's images appeared
However, this is not the first time Google displayed inappropriate search results.
Previously, on searching 'idiot' on Google, it showed the images of US President Donald Trump.
When Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, was summoned to the US House Judiciary Committee for a hearing, he had explained that Google's search algorithm takes into account over 200 factors to return search results.
Google showed Sonia Gandhi's images for 'bar girl in India'
Gandhi worked as a waitress at a restaurant/bar in Cambridge, UK, in the mid-1960s.
As this information was available on many Internet pages, Google search algorithm probably picked up the keywords linking Gandhi to 'bar girl'.