Following discussions with Campaign Against Antisemitism, Google has acted to remove the disgusting “Jewish baby stroller” meme from its image search engine.
Campaign Against Antisemitism approached our contacts at Google after we received a number of reports that searching for “Jewish baby stroller” using Google Images returned images of a gas barbecue oven, in a disgusting reference to the gassing and cremation of Jewish children along with their parents by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
The problem was that the search term “Jewish baby stroller” reveals what is known as a data void. In short, unlike other search terms such as “blue baby stroller” or “lightweight baby stroller”, which return helpful content, there is no helpful content for “Jewish baby stroller” because it is not something that people search for and there is no such thing as a “Jewish baby stroller”. Therefore, the only content that Google’s algorithms could find was the abhorrent meme.
Soon after we contacted Google, the company apologised and took steps to improve its algorithm.
A spokesperson for Google said: “We apologise. These [search results] don’t reflect our opinions. We try to show content matching all key terms searched for, as people normally want. But for ‘data voids’ like this, it can be problematic…We’ve done considerable work with improving data void situations and finding systematic improvements.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Having discussed this with Google, we understand how this situation arose. We are pleased that Google listened and acted quickly. We are grateful to everyone who reported this to us.”
Ironically there are still some images of the meme still available on Google Images, but they are only from articles explaining why the meme is so despicable.