Google has been criticized for a “distasteful” survey about children that was featured on an article about child sex abuse this week.
The survey, which was featured on the article through Google Surveys, asked readers, “Which child do you like the best?” before providing several pictures of young children to choose.
Hi Gazette Live, what kind of screwed-up algorithm is responsible for asking readers to select which child they "like best" before displaying a story about child abuse? pic.twitter.com/OgFLvbbfwP
— Alexi Mostrous (@AlexiMostrous) November 22, 2017
According to the Daily Mail, the survey “had to be completed” before users could access the Gazette Live article titled, “Cleveland Police investigating ’20 to 30′ historic child sexual abuse cases.”
“Google claims that an unnamed firm was using the survey to decide which child should front its marketing campaign,” they explained, adding that “the survey was seen by fewer than 100 people – with less than a few dozen choosing to complete it.”
In a statement, a Google spokesman claimed: “Google Surveys provide businesses with a simple platform for conducting consumer research to inform marketing decisions, such as testing which image would work best in a marketing campaign.”
“While we don’t believe at this time that the survey was the result of any malicious behavior, we quickly recognized that it was distasteful and the survey has been removed,” they proclaimed.