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Either Google Autocomplete Is Sexist, Or The Internet Hates Women

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shutterstock_57870226__1382188748_142.196.156.251Mashable had a story yesterday about the disturbing results that Google autocomplete spits out when you begin to type certain words in the Google search bar. I always thought Google autocomplete was an algorithm based on popular searches in your area. Either way – the results are disturbing. Either Google autocomplete is sexist, or the Internet abounds with misogynist jerks. I think I’d prefer the former – but I’m pretty sure both are true.

Here’s how autocomplete works; you begin to type certain phrases, and Google offers suggestions to complete them for you.  Here are some screenshots of my searches from last night:

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Well, that’s horrifying.

Here’s how Google describes the function:

Autocomplete predictions are algorithmically determined based on a number of factors (including popularity of search terms) without any human intervention. Just like the web, the search queries presented may include silly or strange or surprising terms and phrases. While we always strive to reflect the diversity of content on the web (some good, some objectionable), we also apply a narrow set of removal policies for pornography, violence, hate speech, and terms that are frequently used to find content that infringes copyrights.

“Feminists should die.” That’s so silly, Google! Oh wait, not it’s not. I’m pretty sure it’s hate speech though. When I typed in “men should…” it autocompleted with men shoulder bag, men should always pray, and men should not get married.

I started searching to see how Google autocomplete responds to other variables:

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It sucks that it’s 8am and I already hate humanity.

(photo: Stanislaw Tokarski/ Shutterstock)