Yesterday WebNewser wrote about the racist image that showed up as the top return in a Google Image search for Michelle Obama. Well, now the offensive image has been removed by the site hosting it. Mark Sweeney of guardian.co.uk writes:
A blog hosting an offensive image of Michelle Obama with monkey features has removed it and posted an apology.
The image, which has been appearing at the top of search results when the words “Michelle Obama” are put into Google Images, was posted on a blog called Hot Girls, which is hosted by the Google-owned blog service, Blogger.
Hot Girls’ owner has today removed the image, which appears to have originally been put up with a blog post on 21 October, and displayed an apology in Chinese with a very loose English translation.
Despite complaints about the image, Google decided not to remove it, stating in an explanation linked from an ad (see graphic below) at the top of the “Michelle Obama” Google Images search results:
“Google views the integrity of our search results as an extremely important priority. Accordingly, we do not remove a page from our search results simply because its content is unpopular or because we receive complaints concerning it. We will, however, remove pages from our results if we believe the page (or its site) violates our Webmaster Guidelines, if we believe we are required to do so by law, or at the request of the webmaster who is responsible for the page.”
None of that applied, so Google stuck to its policy, which really was all it could be expected to do. Fortunately (and perhaps ironically), the Hot Girls owner showed some class and took the image down on his own.
Of course, it’s hardly the last we’ll see of this racist image on Google. It’ll pop up again elsewhere, a testament to hate’s persistence.