After Uproar Over ‘Ugliest Language’ Response, Google Apologises
Google had flashed ‘Kannada’ as the response to a question looking for the “ugliest language in India.”
After Kannadigas and several government officials criticised US tech giant Google for flashing ‘Kannada’ as an answer to a question asking to name the “ugliest language in India”, the company issued an apology, stating that the search result is “not reflective of the opinions of Google”.
The search result was subsequently removed and in a statement. Google said, “Search isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, the way content is described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries. We know this is not ideal, but we take swift corrective action when we are made aware of an issue and are continually working to improve our algorithms.”
The Karnataka government had said that it would issue a legal notice to the US-based tech firm: “I have instructed officials to send a legal notice to Google for showing such an answer to that kind of a question,” Aravind Limbavali, Karnataka’s Minister for Kannada, Culture and Forest, said.
He added that the Kannada language has its own history, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago.
What Had Happened
On the afternoon of Thursday, 3 June, several Kannadigas were not pleased with Google, as they realised that a search for the “ugliest language in India” was showing Kannada as the answer.
As the uproar among several Kannadigas, political representatives and activists, made headlines, the search results for the same query were filled with these objections.
Google’s answer to the “ugliest language in India” was this: “What is the ugliest language in India? The answer is Kannada, a language spoken by around 40 million people in south India.”
In view of the highly offensive search result, Bengaluru Central Member of Parliament from BJP PC Mohan had demanded an apology from Google India. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Mukund Gowda also wrote to Google India, urging them to take down the search result and take action against those responsible for the result.
The source for this answer was found to be a page on a website named debtconsolidationsquad.com, which carried Google’s response verbatim. However, the page later showed a 429 error response (too many requests). Earlier, it carried a list of 15 questions related to Indian languages, ranging from the “easiest language in India” to the “most beautiful language in India”.
Censuring the response, BJP MP PC Mohan wrote on twitter, “Home to the great Vijayanagara Empire, #Kannada language has a rich heritage, a glorious legacy and a unique culture. One of the world’s oldest languages Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics much before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century. Apologise @GoogleIndia (sic)”
Mukund Gowda, President of AAP Youth Wing, shared a letter he wrote addressed to Google India on Twitter, “Google is throwing a very hasty search result about Kannada. It shows the Ugliest language in India is Kannada. In fact, all the languages in India are great and we owe love & respect to all language. Have written to Google to quickly correct this (sic).”
Kannadigas Express Antagonism
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