Feeds

Google Instant blacklists the Slutskys

'Streaming' search doesn't give a f**k

Application security programs and practises

Google's "Instant" search engine includes a blacklist for words and phrases involving what the company considers "violence, hate, or pornography."

Unveiled on Wednesday in the US, Google Instant serves up search results in "real-time" as you type. If you type "w," for instance, it gives you results for "weather." If you type "new" and then a space, it gives you results for "New York Times."

Google Instant

Google Instant

But if you type "fuck" or even "fuc," it gives you nothing:

Google Instant Blacklist

Google Un-Instant

However, if you type "fuck" and – in old school fashion – press the search button or hit enter, results arrive as usual.

Google revealed the blacklist on Wednesday morning at the press event introducing Google Instant, after a reporter named "Slutsky" pointed out that her name did not generate real-time results. "We care a lot about child safety and these kinds of issues, so we had to think a lot about auto-complete and how that works as you're getting the results," said Google product manager Johanna Wright.

"So we apply the same policies that we always have, whereby we filter for violence, hate, and pornography. As a result, if you're typing for something that may not be appropriate for certain people to see, you won't see results until you press enter."

Wright is alluding to the fact that Google also uses a similar black list with Google Suggest, the existing auto-complete feature that merely suggests searches as you type. The search giant doesn't want to suggest terms that young 'uns aren't actually typing.

The reporter also pointed out in blacklisting "Slutsky," Google isn't displaying real-time results for her great uncle, Russian mathematical economist Eugen Slutsky, known for his eponymous economic model the Slutsky Equation. And though Google wouldn't discuss this particular case during the Wednesday morning event, it would seem that the Slutskys are the victims of unnecessary collateral damage. Yes, they share four letters with a certain derogatory term, but once users type that "k," shouldn't Google auto-complete to something else?

The bug is not universal. When you type "fucc," you get results for "Fuccillo," a car dealership. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.