Google displayed a picture of Donald Trump and a young Ivanka Trump at the top of a Google search for “hebephilia” (similar to pedophilia, but attracted to pubescent children). The tech giant removed the picture after a Breitbart News inquiry.
Until Breitbart News made its inquiry earlier this afternoon, searches for the term “hebephilia” displayed a picture of a young Ivanka Trump sitting on her father’s knee during an event. The image appeared in Google’s “snippet,” the featured result that appears above search and is aimed at answering a searcher’s question right away.
It also appears as the first result in Google’s Image Search for the same term.
After Breitbart News brought the search result to Google’s attention, the tech giant said it would remove the image from its snippet.
“Featured snippets are generated automatically to help people easily find pages that our systems determine may have the most relevant information,” said a Google spokeswoman. “In this case, the snippet included an image from another source, which was nonrepresentative of the topic. We are removing the image from this snippet in accordance with our policies for this feature.”
Google has policies that correct inaccurate snippets. However, the company does not have similar policies for organic search results (the ten blue links that appear on each page of search results) or Google Image Search, and the picture of the President and his daughter still appears at the top of Google Image searches for hebephilia.
Breitbart News revealed earlier this year that Google does occasionally intervene in organic search results. Leaked emails published by Breitbart revealed a member of the company’s “Trust and Safety” team admitting that the company does intervene in organic search, although he stressed to his colleagues that the bar for doing so is “extremely high.”
However, the Trust and Safety representative admitted that the bar was lower for other Google products, like Knowledge Panels, Google Home, and YouTube — where the company has manually adjusted search results for “controversial YouTube queries.”
These include search results for “abortion” and “abortions,” where a manual adjustment by Google led to pro-life videos falling out of the top ten YouTube search results, where they had previously risen organically. The change was made following a complained about the prominence of pro-life content in the search results made by a left-wing Slate writer.