Peter VanRysdam / Design / September 18th, 2009

Where Does Murder Fit In With Google's "Don't Be Evil" Slogan?

I spent a few minutes looking at the Epic Fail blog at http://www.epicfail.com/ after getting an email forward, and I saw something crazy.  I didn’t believe it, so I decided to try for myself.  It was true!

Go to google, and type “How can I ki” in the search box.  Google will suggest searches along the way, which is a nice feature.  But I found it’s suggestion a bit odd. Take a look:

 

So, I’m sure google isn’t pro murder, but it’s still an interesting topic to discuss.  It’s one thing to censor results, which I’m glad they don’t do.  It’s another thing to suggest results like “How can I kill someone and get away with it?”  The termites I’m cool with. 

The bigger issue is we can’t rely on code and keywords to do everything for us.  The results can be ironic (http://jonbernstein.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/google-ads-contextual-english-defence-league-muslim/), a little sick (http://ec.mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/putyourfeetup.gif), or downright disturbing (http://ec.mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/iomega-ad.gif).  And it’s not just google…they’re just the biggest player in the market meaning they have the most documented faux pas. 

Technology can only take us so far.  Maybe someone over there should do a common-sense check.