About six months ago, Google started using the “Best Guess” technology, which let it give you a guesstimate answer to your search terms before you had to go through the trouble of clicking multiple results. You could use this guess function for movie release dates, weather, and more. But there’s one area where Google has decided that its powers are being used for evil: Celebrities’ sexuality. Now if you Google, say, “Chris Brown gay,” you’ll just get the most relevant search results.
When Anna Paquin came out as bisexual, disbelievers could go to Google and get this:
But now when searching about Chris Brown (really, you have reason to ask), Google is remaining staunchly uninvolved:
Google wouldn’t give a straightforward answer as to why they disqualified sexual orientation from their “Best Guess” feature, but it’s clear: It’s way too sensitive of an issue for them to get wrapped up in. The only possible part of their answer that you could try to analyze is this:
We’re always experimenting with ways to algorithmically provide answers to different queries, and in cases where we’re not confident that the way the answer is presented to our users is helpful, we may change how those results are displayed.
Again, “not helpful” = infringing on the privacy of stars who may be closeted, because as Gawker pointed out, the celebrities who were most likely to be included under “Best Guess” were those who had strenuously denied being gay.
So now we’ll have to go back to slogging through five or more different posts just to find our answer. Life sure is tough.