Interesting Withholding of Religious Suggestions
Every now and then, someone spots an oddity in Google's suggestions. Some are funny. Some are disturbing
, and some are just weird. Alex Wilhelm at The Next Web has discovered
an interesting behavior in Google Suggest involving religion.
With most major religions, you will get suggestions from Google when you type in a query like "example is". If you type "christianity is", or "judaism is" you will get suggestions (which some will no doubt find controversial in themselves), but when you type "islam is", you get nothing.
Here are a few screenshots for different examples of such queries:
To be fair, there are other religions that don't yield suggestions, but all of the biggest ones besides Islam do.
The phenomenon has raised a few eyebrows. Wilhem himself says, "Google is systematically blocking, it seems, all search suggestions for Islam. Why? To remove the chance of an adherent of the faith from being offended by a perhaps severe search suggestion? Why not treat all search terms equally?"
He thinks that either "A: Google is horribly broken and this is evidence of that or B: They seem to be tampering with results."
Danny Sullivan, one of the most influential voices in the search industry weighed in
on the conversation, saying, "Google is horribly broken. That