Google for Responding to Concerns about Rankings of Hate
To: National Desk, Technology Reporter
Contact: Myrna Shinbaum, 212-885-7747, or Todd
Gutnick, 212-885-7755, both of the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) today praised
Google for responding to its concerns about rankings of
extremist Web sites. Google has assured ADL that its
staff is looking at various technical modifications that
will enable the Internet search engine to better identify
and categorize racially offensive sites that come up in
In a letter to ADL, Google President Sergey
Brin apologized to users who found the search results
for the word "Jew" upsetting and promised to work for a
solution that would satisfy ADL's concerns and those of
users offended by the No. 1 ranking of an anti-Semitic
are extremely pleased that Google has heard our concerns
and those of its users about the offensive nature of some
search results and the unusually high ranking of peddlers
of bigotry and anti-Semitism," said Abraham H.
Foxman, ADL National Director (right).
"Google has shown great
responsiveness to this issue and a willingness to
consider changes to better identify extremist Web
sites, so that users can still have the benefit of
Google's unique search technology while being alerted
when they are about to enter into a hate zone."
In response to a deluge of e-mails about Google, ADL
contacted the company earlier this month to express its
concern and offer suggestions for categorizing hate sites
without censoring them in the results.
Google's response was
immediate and has led to ongoing discussions between
ADL's Internet monitoring team and Google's technical
Until the technical modifications are implemented,
Google has placed text on its site that gives users a
clear explanation of how search results are obtained.
Google searches are automatically determined using
computer algorithms that take into account thousands of
factors to calculate a page's relevance.
"We apologize for the upsetting nature of the
experience you had using Google and appreciate your
taking the time to inform us about it," Brin said in his
letter. "This is clearly an issue that we care deeply
about, and we plan to explore additional ways of
addressing it in the future."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded
in 1913, is the world's leading
organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs
and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and
© 2004 U.S. Newswire