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Search Engine Scandal; Google Auto-Completes Your Racism

Search Engine Scandal; Google Auto-Completes Your Racism

Google offers an Auto-Complete feature. You start your search, they suggest what you might want to see, based on what others have searched… and Google thinks you’re a huge racist.

I searched almost every country in the world and what I found was… well, it was interesting to say the least. I wouldn’t go as far as to say “informative”, but it definitely speaks to prejudices, pre-conceived notions and bigotry-at-large.

RIGHT: Here is the chart of key words/themes that came up in the dozens of searches. Only keywords that came up more than 3-times appear in this chart. (CLICK GRAPHIC TO ENLARGE AND SEE FULL SIZE)

» Discuss this story on Reddit!

This is the politics of search. Google is all about your bigotry and pre-conceived notions, and they’re not ashamed of it.

North AmericaCaribbeanCentral/South AmericaEuropeAsiaAfricaDown Unda’


North America

Why are Americans so?

Well this one started off with a bang.
why-are-americans

Here we go. Why are Americans so stupid, so fat, called Yankees, and my favorite, obsessed with guns. Honestly, all of these are good questions.

Why are Canadians so?

why-are-canadians

Afraid of the dark? That’s a weird one. They live through a solid three months of it, I doubt that’s rational. So polite? I can see that. Not exactly racist, but interesting. Why are Canadians so rude to Americans? That’s not racist either, it’s fair. I’d guess it’s because Americans are so brash and obnoxious. SOURCE: I’m an American.

I did get a stern but polite talking to about George W. Bush’s policies at a gas station in Vancouver some years back. All I could do was assure the gentleman I didn’t vote for him.

Why are Mexicans so?

This could get ugly.
why-are-mexicans

Short? Brown? Loud? Rude? Oh, what a relief! Those things aren’t bad. Aside from the beige question, they’re all subjective.


Caribbean

Why are Puerto Ricans so?

why-are-puerto-ricans
Well this was a mixed bag. On the one hand you’ve got proud and beautiful, which are both good things to be. On the other hand you’ve got “why are Puerto Ricans so mean?” and “Why are Puerto Ricans so lazy?” I live in Puerto Rico for a couple months as a travel writer, and I will say that doing my job was pretty difficult. Hard to get cooperation, most times. Not sure about lazy, though.

Why are Haitians so?

why-are-haitians

Why are Haitians black? Why are they so rude, so loud and so mean? I guess these are all fair, albeit subjective questions.

Why are Dominicans?

why-are-dominicans

Well that was an easy one. Black, so black, loud and dark. I guess what we’re asking here is why they’re black.


Central/South America

The continent(s) of love and cocaine. Here we go.

Why are Brazilians so?

why-are-brazilians

Not much to see here. The only bad thing is “Why are Brazilians so annoying,” which really isn’t so bad.

Why are Chileans so?

why-are-chileans

Why are Chileans white? This question seems to come up a lot. People really seem to care what color people are, and why.

Why are Venezuelans so?

why-are-venezuelans

This is a good example of positive stereotypes. Three about how beautiful their women are, one about how good their baseball players are.

Why are Colombians so?

why-are-columbians

Here you might spot my typo, but Google caught it. Why are Colombian women so beautiful, or so easy? Why are they white? So many questions, so little brain power went into it. Seriously, what kind of answer were they hoping to get?

Why are Bolivians so?

why-are-bolivians

Why are they so ugly, fine, I can overlook that one. But “why are Bolivians always late for dinner”? Somebody is going to have to explain this one to me, because I guess I’ve never known a Bolivian.

Why are Peruvians so?

why-are-peruvians

Why are Peruvians short, okay, I get that one. The answer is malnutrition, in case you’re curious. You’ve only met ones who were raised poor, and thus malnourished, but that’s fine. Why are Peruvians Asian??? First of all, they aren’t, second of all, how many people had to Google this for it to come up as the third most common result for “Why are Perv-”?

Why are Argentinians so?

why-are-argentinians

Why are they so white and rude, I understand. Not that I agree (or have ever even met an Argentinian, but those come up for nations around the world… but chaotic and cocky are a bit mystifying.


Europe

Why are Swedish people so?

why-are-swedish

Why are the Swedish so happy, healthy tall, and just plain King? All good questions. Strange ones, but that’s fine. I wouldn’t say reverse racist so much as just complimentary and nice.

Why are Norwegians so?

why-are-norwegians

Why are the Norwegians happy or rich, fine… but why are they racist? Isn’t that a bit racist just for asking?

Why are the Irish so?

why-are-irish

Wow… that’s quite a list. Why are the Irish so short, red-headed, pale and Catholic? You don’t know your geography so well, people of Google. More Scots are ginger than Irish folk, only parts of Ireland are Catholic (there was a bit of a war about this, don’t know if you heard,) and everyone in northern Europe is pale.

Why are English People so?

why-are-english

Why are English people so pale, rude and tall… well, it could be worse. I know that for a fact because I also searched for the British, as seen below.

Why are the British so?

why-are-british

Why are the Brit-, was as far as I had to type to get the questions; Why are British teeth so bad, why are British people so mean, why are British women unattractive and why are British people so rude… might have some PR work to do there, Britain.

Why are Germans so?

why-are-germans

Here’s another positive one. Why are the Germans so smart? Why are the Germans so successful? Why are the Germans so good at engineering? Well for all three of those I’d credit their educational system, with first-hand knowledge. I spent time in the German public school system as an exchange student, and I can tell you teachers, programs, and indeed even the students, are top notch.

Why are the Dutch so?

why-are-dutch

Why are the Dutch so tall and happy I can understand. Both compliments, but not such strange questions… but why are the Dutch so orange I think I’ll never understand. Is John Boehner Dutch?

Why are the Polish so?

why-are-polish

Oh good, the Polish. Why are the Polish made fun of? Why are the polish considered dumb? And my favorite, why are the Polish represented as pigs in maus… I don’t even know what that means and I’m not about to Google it.

Why are Ukrainians so?

why-are-ukranians

Here’s another case of nothing but positives. Why are Ukrainian women so hot? Mila Kunis is Ukrainian, and might I say, meow. Why are Ukrainian women so beautiful? Why are Ukrainian women so thin? Why are Ukrainians so beautiful. Those are good questions, but the better question is; why are you not buying a ticket to go there right now?

Why are the Spanish so?

why-are-spaniards

Why are Spanish people so annoying? Why are Spaniards so racist? Why are Spanish girls so easy? Too many questions, too many qualifiers needed. The better question is who you are and why Google masses are looking to do this.

Why are Italians so?

why-are-italians

This ones about 75% racist. Why are Italians called wops? Why are Italians called Guineas? Why are Italians short? First of all, where do you live that they are called these things, because on the West Coast, I’ve never heard such epithets. And short? Guess it depends who you know.

Why are Greeks so?

why-are-greeks

Why are Greeks dark-skinned? Why are Greeks so arrogant? Why are Greeks so rude? They’re not dark-skinned, they’re olive-skinned, and pardon me, but it’s beautiful. Tear me up in the comments below if you like.

Why are Turkish people so?

why-are-turkish

Why are Turkish men so pervy? Wow. Really? Enough people are Googling this exact phrase (I’ve never heard the word “pervy” before) that it comes up as the #2 result?

Why are Jews so?

why-are-jews

I know Israel isn’t in Europe, but it’s the only country in the Middle East that actually showed up properly in the search. Number one result: Why are Jews so cheap? I have a modest amount of experience with Jews in my life, and as a non-racist, I’m happy to not comment on this search result.


Asia

Why are Russians so?

why-are-russians

Kind of a mixed bag here, but not so bad. Why are the Russians always the bad guy? Why are Russians so tough? Why are Russians so good at chess? You tell me.

Why are Tibetans so?

why-are-tibetans

Why are Tibetans always setting themselves on fire? Hey man, it’s a solid question, if a sad legacy. After all, immolation is the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps not better than result #4, why are Tibetan mastiffs so expensive?

Why are the Chinese so?

why-are-chinese

Why are the Chinese so smart and skinny? I assume the answer is Tiger moms, but as to why are the Chinese so good at ping-pong… You lost me. I have no guess, educated or otherwise.

Why are Japanese people so?

why-are-japanese

Why are Japanese people so smart and cute, fair enough, that’s kind and complimentary. Then we ask TWICE why they’re so weird. If you’ve seen their adult entertainment, perhaps you can understand why the question is so globally relevant.

Why are Koreans so?

why-are-koreans

Why are Koreans so skinny, angry, pretty and rude? It doesn’t sound so much like you have a question, it sounds like you have a new girlfriend you can’t wrap your head around.

Why are North Koreans so?

why-are-north-koreans

We just had to break the Koreas out (sorry lil’est Kim.) Why are North Koreans starving and short? Well, my guess to the latter is because of the former.

Why are South Koreans so?

why-are-south-koreans

Why are South Koreans so tall, rude, tall and racist? I’m seeing a trend emerging, it seems almost all races are potentially racist.

Why are Vietnamese people so?

why-are-vietnamese

This one is a tad uglier. Why are Vietnamese called gooks? Why are Vietnamese people so short? Not cool, Googlers of the world. Not cool.

Why are Cambodians so?

why-are-cambodians

Yes, why are Cambodians “ghetto”? And why are they “dark”?

Why are Thai people so?

why-are-thai

Why are Thai people so gay, nice, rude and happy? Well if I had to guess, I’d say it depends on the tip.

Why are Taiwanese so?

why-are-taiwanese

Why are Taiwanese girls so ugls, so pretty, so skinny and so easy? It’s almost as if Googlers think of these women as little more than objects upon which one should ogle. Not that I disagree with that, that would be racist of me.

Why are Filipinos so?

why-are-filipinos

Why are Filipinos so short, so cool, their parents so strict, and they mostly end up as nurses… this is just a weird one.

Why are Indonesians so?

why-are-indonesians

Why are Indonesians Muslims? Why are Indonesians so short? Why are Indonesians so angry? And my favorite, why are Indonesian Chinese so rich?

Why are East Indians so?

why-are-east-indians

I had to use the phrase “east Indian” rather than “Indian” because failing to do so brought up results specific to Native Americans. But once I narrowed it down, it got pretty weird. Why are East Indians so cheap? Why are East Indians so rich and so rude? My personal experience does not reflect these search results, but obviously I’m in the majority.


Africa

Why are Egyptians so?

why-are-egyptians

Yes. Why are Egyptians considered white? And why are Egyptians “not black”?

Why are Libyans so?

why-are-libyans

I assume when they ask why Libyans are revolting, they don’t just mean violently disgusting. But why would someone ask “why are Libyans white”?

Why are the Sudanese so?

why-are-sudanese

We’ve got the old “Why are Sudanese people so dark,” which we can blame on simple racism, and “Why are Sudanese people so tall,” which we can blame on simple ignorance, but what about “Why are Sudanese confused about the word AIDS”? That’s a fairly strange one.

Why are Algerians so?

why-are-algerians

Why are Algerians white (run of the mill question, at this point,) but the next three questions are about Bulgarians… not sure what that means.

Why are Ethiopians so?

why-are-ethiopians

Having seen enough cry-for-help infomercials, I suppose it’s fair to ask “Why are Ethiopians stomach’s so big”, but then to ask “why are Ethiopians so fast” is perhaps a bit puzzling.

Why are Nigerians so?

why-are-nigerians

Yes, why are Nigerians so smart, so corrupt, so dark and so loud? These are four fair, honest, weird questions. Loud? Really?

Why are Kenyans so?

why-are-kenyans

Well this one is uncommonly homogenous. Why are Kenyans so fast? Why are Kenyans fast runners? Why are Kenyans such good runners? Why are Kenyans fast? I guess the whole of the Googling world has one opinion of Kenyans. Could be worse. You could be the British.


Down Unda’

Why are Australians so?

why-are-australians

Why are Australians are so hot or rude, I understand, but to ask why they are so white? Seriously? Why are Australians white? And the capper on it, “Why are Australians upside down?” Well that just defies common sense. Come on Googlers of the English speaking world, I expect more from you.

Why are New Zealanders so?

why-are-new-zealanders

Why are New Zealanders rude? So nice? Called Kiwis? Good at Rugby? Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Conclusion

Whether you are or not, Google certainly assumes that you are a racist, and if I may say so, something of a weirdo. Don’t take it personally, it just means that your a member of a species that is largely racist, at least when searching the internet from the comfortable anonymity of their homes.

Methodology: This was a tad less scientific than one might hope. I did 1-3 searches for each nation: “Why are X,” “Why are the X” and “Why are the people of X”, and selected the most interesting results.

As such, these results should NOT be considered scientific, but anecdotal at best… now go try to find such a disclaimer from CNN or FOX when they do the exact same thing.

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This post was written by

- who has written 366 posts on GlossyNews.com.

Brian first began peddling his humorous wares with a series of Xerox printed books in fifth grade. Since then he's published over two thousand satire and humor articles, as well as eight stage plays, a 13-episode cable sitcom and three (terrible) screenplays. He is a freelance writer by trade and an expert in the field of viral entertainment marketing. He is the author of many of the biggest hoaxes of recent years, a shameful accomplishment in which he takes exceptional pride.

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15 Responses to “Search Engine Scandal; Google Auto-Completes Your Racism”

  1. Andew says:

    “Canadians are afraid of the dark” came from a joke on the american TV show “How I met your Mother”.

    I think they made it up, in part because one of the writers was Canadian. They are making fun of American Prejudice rather than making fun of Canadians.

  2. "And my favorite, why are the Polish represented as pigs in maus… I don’t even know what that means and I’m not about to Google it."

    Nothing to be concerned/afraid of – Maus is a Pullitzer Prize-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust.

  3. Gregory says:

    Why does your analysis associate tall with good and short with bad? Isn’t that bigoted in and of itself?

  4. r jacobs says:

    “Canadian” or any other nationality is not a race. Insulting does not = racist.

  5. P. Beckert says:

    I am totally baffled. I’m not sure any one of those questions were valid. Please do an article on why Google researchers are such idiots.

  6. Paul Soon says:

    Beckert, I hope you don’t actually think that Google hires people to put these questions into Google.

  7. John Little says:

    P. Beckert. It's more a reflection of the average person Googling. Google only aggregates the most popular questions.

  8. jeff boldt says:

    it’s funny how everyone thinks everyone else is so rude.

  9. P. Beckert says:

    ZZZZZZZZZ We’re all being hoodwinked. This is our brain on Google. I think it’s time to load up the van with a few essentials and head to the hills and leave all the technology behind, cause obviously I’m a dimwit who doesn’t understand diddly.

  10. Sean says:

    Why are the Dutch orange refers to the fact that their national flag has blue, red, and white, while their national sports teams always wear orange uniforms. A valid question, I think, and nothing to do with the people being orange. I’d think if you’d ever watched the World Cup or Olympics, you’d have guessed the reasoning behind this particular question…

  11. joana says:

    This article had a really weird tone to it. It reads like a straight-forward article on the topic into which someone desperately shoved jokes in random places. Many times I couldn’t tell if the author was ignorant or was trying to make a joke (for instance, did he really not know what the “Dutch orange” question referred to? Did he really not know the Canadian joke from How I Met Your Mother?) The fact is, to write good comedy you need to know a lot about your topic, at least as much as your readers.

    Also, “Why are Haitians black?” is NOT a “subjective question.” It’s a valid question about the history of Haiti (as opposed to most Latin American countries).

  12. Kilroy says:

    I tried “Why are” and got “Flamingos pink” followed by “People gay”.
    But then there was “lipids not considered polymers”. Now THAT’S weird.

  13. Boy says:

    Boy, some of these commenters just don’t seem to get it. If someone hates Mexicans, we commonly call them racists, even though Mexican isn’t a race. Saying Chinese are good at ping-pong, while true, may carry racist connotations, even though “Chinese” isn’t a race, it’s a nationality.

    It’s like they just missed the boat entirely.

  14. Jeff Vachon says:

    I keyed in why as I su…ch a loser!

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