Google in deal with French groups over ‘Jew’ suggestion via the AFP reports Google has made a deal with several French anti-racism groups of Google offering ‘Jew’ to the search suggestions for several prominent names in that country.
Our earlier story named Google Queries Reveal Potential “Underground” Anti-Semitism In France explains that the French people are routinely searching on politicians’ names followed by the world “juif,” which means “Jewish” in French. This may imply a strong sense of anti-Semitism, which is known to have been prominent in the history of many European countries, such as France.
Six different anti-racism groups including; SOS Racisme, the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP), the International League Against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA) and Memoire 2000, had a lawsuit against Google. That lawsuit has been dropped but the specifics of the deal are not clear.
Google sent us a comment saying:
Google supports education and information against racism and antisemitism. Together with the associations, we will develop and promote projects aimed at increasing the awareness of Internet users to values of tolerance and respect.
French law prohibits the recording of someone’s religion or ethnicity in a database.
Google users “are confronted daily by the unsolicited and almost systematic association of the word ‘Jew’ with the names of the best-known people in the world of politics, the media or business,” the groups said.
Google has been known to not censor results including an a racist image of Michelle Obama, the first lady. They also ran ads to explain in that case and other cases that the search results are algorithmic and Google does not modify them even if they may be found offensive. This came up in almost ten years ago when you searched for [jew] in Google. Google ran an ad that read:
The landing page for this ad is still available at google.com/explanation.html.
In this case, I would guess Google would come out with search ads and awareness campaigns about anti-racism and anti-Semitism in France and neighboring European countries. Google however won’t comment on the specifics of how they will “support education and information against racism and antisemitism.”