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Google Apologises for Showing Kannada as 'Ugliest Language', Plea Withdrawn

Google published an apology on 3 June in English and Kannada that read, "Search isn't always perfect."

Published
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Plea against Google withdrawn after it apologises for showing Kannada as 'ugliest language in India.' Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday, 8 September, disposed a petition, as withdrawn, which sought legal action against internet giant Google India, after a Google search showed that Kannada was the "ugliest language in India". The petitioner, the Anti Corruption Council of India Trust, decided to withdraw its petition as Google India had apologised on the issue.

A report in Bar and Bench quoted the bench as saying, "The contention of the petitioner is that later on, Google India tendered apology in the matter in terms of the content displayed on the website, assuring that such incidents will not take place in future."

The court then disposed of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The case was being heard by a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Magadum.

In June 2021, several users pointed out that Kannada popped up as the result if one searched for the phrase “ugliest language in India”. There was much uproar in social media following this and many political leaders from the state too joined in to condemn Google.

On 3 June, hours after the controversy broke, Google published an apology. The apology read in English and Kannada read, "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. Naturally, these are not reflective of the opinions of Google, and we apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments," Google added.

The response that had shown up on Google for the query on ugliest language was, “What is the ugliest language in India? The answer is Kannada, a language spoken by around 40 million people in south India.”

The answer seemed to have been picked up from a page on a website named debtconsolidationsquad.com, which featured this answer amidst a series of questions and answers on languages across the world, including questions on “easiest language in India '' and “most beautiful language in India”.

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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