Google Autocomplete suggests Jews, women are 'evil' 

Occurred: December 2016

Users typing the phrase 'are Jews' into Google found its Autocomplete search prediction function returned the phrase 'are Jews evil?'.

The results brought up anti-Semitic websites, blogs and articles such as 'Top 10 major reasons why people hate Jews'. Similarly negative results were returned for 'are women' and 'are Muslims', resulting in accusations of religious and gender bias.

The discovery had been made by The Observer newspaper during an investigation into the influence of right-wing websites on search results. 

Google updated its system to remove the suggestions, though no change was made for searches starting with 'are Muslims.' Google did not say why changes to some phrases were made, but not to others. 


Operator: Alphabet/Google
Developer: Alphabet/Google
Country: UK
Sector: Politics; Religion
Purpose: Predict search results
Technology: NLP/text analysis; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - gender, race, religion
Transparency: Governance; Black box