Days after a story which showed it displayed “Neo-Nazism” next to search results for the California Republican Party, Vice has discovered that Google also displayed an image labeled “BIGOT” next to searches for North Carolina State Senator Trudy Wade.
“If you search “Trudy Wade” on Google, the search giant displays an old photo in the “knowledge panel” of its search results with “BIGOT” superimposed in big red letters” reported Vice.
The image is now removed.
Google apologized to Sen. Wade in a statement on social media.
We apologize to Senator Wade that this image appeared in the Knowledge Panel in Search. Images that appear in the Knowledge Panel are either selected by verified users or are automatically sourced from sites across the web.
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) June 2, 2018
This is the second time in a few days that Google has had to apologize for running smears next to Republicans in their search results. Until it was spotted by Vice, a search for the California GOP party yielded a “knowledge panel” next to the search results that claimed “Neo Nazism” was one of the party’s official ideologies.
That ideology display was due to Google’s reliance on Wikipedia, an imprecise and easily-manipulated online encyclopedia, to source information for their “knowledge panels”, which often appear on the right of search results, containing key information about a subject.
In this case, the “BIGOT” image next to search results for Sen. Wade came from a 2012 blog post from a progressive activist, who opposed Sen. Wade’s support for traditional marriage.