Update: As of late Tuesday afternoon, Google has restored many of the Google Shopping search results discussed in this article, such as water guns. Certain search terms like “AR-15” and “revolver” still display no results. The original article follows.
Google has removed search results for any product that contains the word “gun” in it, including water guns, toy guns, the band “Guns and Roses,” and even “burgundy” from its shopping section.
Google has removed results in its shopping tool for a wide range of terms related to firearms, unwittingly censoring completely unrelated items such as music groups and movies whose titles matched filtered terms.
Google Shopping allows users to search for products from a wide range of online shopping sites to compare prices and offerings. The Internet giant has removed search results for a wide variety of terms, which was discovered by social media users this week.
Searches for “gun,” “guns,” “pistol,” “pistols,” “AR-15,” “rifle,” and “revolver,” in the shopping section of Google’s search engine will now fail to return any results, while other searches which have nothing to do with firearms but include the keywords similarly provide no results, including “toy guns,” “water guns,” “glue gun,” “Guns and Roses,” “Gundam,” “Top Gun,” “Naked Gun,” the Man With the Golden Gun,” “Shogun,” “Sex Pistols,” and even “burgundy.”
The fact that words including “gun” as part of the title have led many to suspect Google is running a filter specifically to remove any search result including those letters, as opposed to filtering by product category or vendor.
Searches for “flamethrower,” “knives,” “machete,” “arsenic,” “bombs,” “ammo,” and various gun parts are still returned, however.
Search engine Bing has also removed search results for “pistol” and “rifle,” but does not censor other products with the word “gun” in them.
Google Shopping was the focus of an EU antitrust case against Google that resulted in a record $2.7 billion fine against the company.
Breitbart Tech reached out to Google for comment, but has not received a response.
Update — After this story published, Google replied to Breitbart Tech this this statement:
We are experiencing an error in our Shopping results and we are working to address this issue. We have not changed our policy on the promotion of guns, gun parts or gun components.
The spokesperson also provided a link to the policy, which can be read here.