Following action from Campaign Against Antisemitism and others, Google has corrected its definition of the word ‘Jew’ after it displayed an antisemitic slur as its top result.
The leading definition that was on display was labelled by Google as an “offensive verb” and read: “bargain with someone in a miserly or petty way.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism promptly contacted Google on the matter, who swiftly resolved it.
Google later apologised for the incident, writing: “Our apologies. Google licenses definitions from third-party dictionary experts. We only display offensive definitions by default if they are the main meaning of a term. As this is not the case here, we have blocked this & passed along feedback to the partner for further review.”
This is not the first time this has happened, and we are asking for monitoring to be put in place to ensure that the algorithm does not repeat this incorrect behaviour.
Last year, Google admitted that it “must do better” after more than 150 antisemitic comments were discovered on the Google Maps site for the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
Only a few months later, it was reported that Google’s Head of Diversity Strategy wrote that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war and killing” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.”