Me and my roommate found this little quirk on Google, and it's gotten me a bit mad. Google has generally lived-up to their "do no evil" mantra, but if what we found was done on purpose, I have lost some respect for the company...


They appear to be filtering their auto-complete to avoid listing religions with negative adjectives. I will be listing some potentially offensive queries, but this is simply to make a point.


Let try three basic Google search result counts (unscientific):


"Stupid Christian" = 73,300,000 Results (without quotes) / 90,900 (with quotes)

"Stupid Muslim" = 36,500,000 (without quotes) / 66,300 (with quotes)

"Stupid Atheist" = 8,040,000 (without quotes) / 17,300 (with quotes)


These result counts seem to suggest that, according to Google, the internet considers Christians to be between 525-911% stupider than Atheists, and 137-200% stupider than Muslims. I could list more comparisons, but you guys probably know how to divide...


OK, now lets see how quickly Google auto-complete will suggest this entries. Remember, there are MILLIONS of more results for "Stupid Christian" and "Stupid Muslim" than "Stupid Atheist":


"Stupid Christian" = NEVER SUGGESTED (Typed all the way up to "Stupid Christia"

"Stupid Muslim" = NEVER SUGGESTED (Typed all the way up to "Stupid Musli"

"Stupid Atheist" = "Stupid At" (Already gives me "Stupid Atheist" as the 2nd suggestion, and "Stupid Atheist Quotes" -- 2,340,000 results -- as the 5th suggestion)


What gives Google? There are WAY more results for other (stupid) religions, but you won't even consider that that was what I was searching for, but "Stupid Atheist" is right along side "Stupid Athletes" (14,800,000 results).


I observed nearly the exact same trend when substituting "stupid" for:


"Evil" (with the exception of "Evil Christ", which is a German metal band)

"Violent" (according to Google, barely anyone is searching for "Violent Muslim"; go figure...)



However, there were a few terms that brought up religious terms with them:




"Blasphemous" ("Christian" and "Muslim" came up much quicker than "Atheist"; ironic!)


Is Google intentionally filtering their auto-complete to avoid offending the religious? Is religion untouchable? Is this blatant censorship? FROM GOOGLE?!


Maybe, but the auto-complete suggestions for "Christians/Muslims/Atheists Are"... suggests that people don't think too kindly of religion on the Internet...


Before I assume this is intentional censorship by Google, what do you guys think?

Tags: Atheism, Censorship, Google

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That does lead us back to the edited results idea.
Good thread. It reminds me of how CNN and Fox watchers accuse each other of confirmation bias reporting.
I remember reading about google censoring some suggestions from showing up on autocomplete. IIRC there is a website that lists these blocked suggestions. Will try & find it later
The bigger the company, the bigger the pressure to conform to social norms and niceties. Sadly, Google's public traded status means we're more likely to see those kinds of things happen.
Ding ding ding ding! They mostly don't filter search results but there are such things as Torrents, torrenting and bit torrent among others. Now I assume anything disparaging about Christian views.

I don't know if Google censors stuff like this, but if you start with the religion, the autocomplete works.

muslim vio get you to muslim violence (before that you get muslim videos), and the same works for christian vio...

But Google may still filter some of its autocomplete sentences. I wouldn't call it censoring though, because the content isn't blocked. Google is just not immediately directing you to it.


Found the page where all the words blacklisted in google autocomplete are listed, but it looks like that the list is a little dated, but if you still wanna have a look, here -

And I typed in christians are in google & got this - 




So don't see any censoring going on.



Well is the guy at the top in google religious?

I don't think so they seem to be pretty non-denominational. They often have speakers go to the google campus for talks and one of the speakers was Christopher Hitchens.

Think you're jumping to conclusions. Google search algorithms work on more than just basic count of search term. For example :


There are more factors at play here so better to hold off on leaping to the 'google's biased!' conclusion.


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