Autocomplete now to include term along with other sexual orientations
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/04/2012 -- When Google “blacklists” a word, it means that the term will not trigger suggestions in the autocomplete feature. The autocomplete feature has been utilized for quite some time to give suggestions for what one might be searching for before they finish typing it.
Words such as “porn” were blacklisted as well as some terms that had copyright implications (“torrent”, for instance). Google had recently added “Pirate Bay” to the thousands of words that are not provided with an autocomplete.
One of the words that had been blacklisted since the use of the list was conceived was the word “bisexual”. Recently, a bisexual advocacy group claimed to have won the battle and had Google remove the word from the blacklist.
“Since late 2009, Google has had “bisexual” on a list of banned words; such words were de-prioritized by the Google search algorithm, leading to a drop in search rankings for all bisexual organizations and community resources. Since its search engine would not auto-suggest or auto-complete any term with the word “bisexual”, Google made it harder for any user to find bisexual content, whether that be on coming out as bisexual or finding local support groups across the United States and elsewhere.” Explains BiNet a longtime bisexual advocacy organization.
The effectiveness of this blacklisting is not truly known, as the list does not directly impede the searches. Rather, it simply does not lend a helping hand. Perhaps Google is simply trying to keep its hands clean by not suggesting anything in these matters.
The group’s head, Faith Cheltenham, posted this on her personal blog:
“Google search results WILL vary by user, one user has already reported seeing “bisexual” when typing in “bi” while other users don’t even see “bisexual quotes” when typing in “bisexual q”. The block was lifted on August 21st as far as some VERY DEDICATED volunteers can tell. It was on that date that “bisexual q” started producing “bisexual quotes”. Just a few weeks later, I get these results when typing in “bisexual q”.
What may be most peculiar about the “bisexual” situation is that words like “heterosexual,” “homosexual,” “asexual,” and “trisexual” are not blacklisted.
The blacklisting of the word was likely a logistical oversight, or at least not a calculated slap to the face of the bisexual community, as Google has had a history of being vocal supporters of the LGBT rights.
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