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No Proof our Images showed Pakistan Flag For ‘Toilet Paper’, Says Tech Giant Google

Google algorithms have displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics in the past

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google on Tuesday said that it has found no evidence that its Search algorithms were showing the Pakistani flag when looked for the “best toilet paper in the world”, the “best China-made toilet paper” or just “toilet paper”.

“While we continue to investigate the matter, we have not found any evidence that Google Images was ranking the Pakistani flag in response to this particular search,” a company spokesperson told IANS.

“Many news outlets wrote about an old screenshot from a meme website that is inconsistent with our UI (user interface) and dates back to 2017, and we have not seen any independent verification that these results ever appeared as depicted,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier, media reports said a glitch on Google Search results was noticed after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that left 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers dead.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Screenshots of the search results went viral as memes, posts and status updates on several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“Since these news stories published, images from those articles are now ranking for this query, as the pages contain words relevant to the search,” said the Google spokesperson.

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Google algorithms have displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics in the past.

Earlier, searching words like “Feku”, “Pappu” and “Idiot” led users to the images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and US President Donald Trump, respectively. (IANS)

Next Story

Google Redesigning the News Tab of its Desktop Search

According to the report, even though the change itself is relatively minor, it is part of a larger effort by Google to improve its news products

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Laying more emphasis on headlines and publisher names, Google is redesigning the News tab of its desktop search.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we’re rolling out a redesigned News tab in Search on desktop. The refreshed design makes publisher names more prominent and organises articles more clearly to help you find the news you need,” Google News Initiative announced on Twitter on Friday.

The updated redesign would bring the News tab closer to the dedicated Google News site and display stories in a card format rather than a list, making headlines and publishers appear clearer.

The company is grouping news stories on same topic together to let users looking for broader coverage on a subject distinguish different strands of the case, The Verge reported.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

The updated News tab would be rolling out to users around the world in the coming weeks.

According to the report, even though the change itself is relatively minor, it is part of a larger effort by Google to improve its news products.

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To make its news reliable, Gooogle has formed partnerships with news organisations, created new mechanisms to let users subscribe to publishers, set up programmes to fight fake news and relaunched its own dedicated News app with new AI features. (IANS)