Google Will Retool Its Maps Service To Prevent Racist Listings


Google has confirmed that it is making changes to its Google Maps service to stop racist terms and other inappropriate words from displaying location search results. The issue blew up this week after searches for “n*****” or “nigga” were found to pull up the White House and other locations associated with African-Americans and other ethnic minorities.

In a blog post apologizing for the « mess up, » Google explained that the situation was caused because its Maps service uses content from across the web — most of which isn’t vetted — to match searches to locations. It’s the same model that its search engine is based on — and explains why a search for ‘failure’ used to serve U.S. President Geoge W. Bush as the top result, before the company implemented a change.

Like Google search, which had algorithms changed to prevent so-called ‘Googlebombing’, so Maps is getting the same treatment to prevent the problem, Google said:

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