Google search promotes antisemitism

Google is the world’s leading search engine. Over 84% of search traffic across most of the free world originates from Google ( I know this because I googled it). But my own research shows that Google’s own search engine is helping to spread antisemitism into the mainstream. Here is the story:

What is in Google’s algorithm

Forget the maths that perhaps only Dr Sheldon Cooper can understand. Basically, when you type a query into Google – it uses several factors when deciding the optimal answer to your question. Your location, your interests, previous responses to the same question, and the popularity of a page are just four or the many variables. As long as it is not tampered with, Google’s algorithm reflects societal interest and bias back on itself.  This is also true of its image search. If the conversations around beautiful women online are primarily centred on or around white women, then that will be the result of a search.

The people behind Google do understand that the power it wields creates a social responsibility. They don’t want to reflect all societal bias back, because they understand that ranking some popular pages highly would promote many toxic worldviews.  But this means that Google search does have an editorial policy. Google decides what is healthy and what is toxic. Google protects some groups from spreading the hate against them inadvertently or subliminally (in returning results not explicitly asked for) by demoting the ranking of offensive pages.

Unfortunately, Google does not protect Jews in the same way.

A big h/t to Lee Kern for alerting me to this issue (Lee’s Twitter and IG).

(NOTE: an incognito window was used throughout, to avoid Google ‘filtering’ a bubble around my results, previous search history was deleted, cookies were cleaned, and search customisation was optimised to offset additional bias. Only geographical bias was not addressed as this is not relevant to the research)

Typing ‘Jewish People’ into Google

A simple exercise. Type ‘Jewish people’ into Google. The results are clean and relevant. There is clearly an editorial policy of some type at work, because ‘Jews did 9/11’ and other popular antisemitic conspiracy is nowhere to be seen (unless Google recognises you want to see that kind of stuff from your antisemitic activity).

Whilst the actual text results seem to be normal, click in the menu bar to see the result of the ‘images search’. It will look something like this:

Google and Jewish people

The key returns that we see immediately are Donald Trump and Bibi Netanyahu. A reflection of money, power and in the mind of many, a reflection of ‘nasty’. Even the image of Gal Gadot links to an attack on Netanyahu.  As far as I am aware, Donald Trump is not a quintessential example of a ‘Jewish person’. But it gets even worse. In just the first few results the connecting articles contain numerous attacks on Israel, Orthodoxy and Jewish people more generally. Even a Tony Greenstein article – which calls Israel a Jewish Supremacist State makes the cut.

Greenstein is an expelled Labour activist and a notorious antisemite.

To show this more thoroughly I analysed the ‘tone’ and ‘subject’ of the content of the article the image linked to. I looked at the top 30 hits. On a phone or normal sized computer screen this equates to scrolling down several times.

Results:

  • Articles about Trump – 9
  • Articles about Bibi – 4 (including the Gal Gadot attack on Bibi)
  • Negative article about power of Rabbinate in Israel
  • Article about the arguments over the definition of the word ‘Jew’ in Germany
  • Article about antisemitism – 5
  • Politically loaded article about the Jewish population of the UK
  • Article about both Jewish and Muslim opinions
  • Article about how toxic Israel is for the Jewish people
  • Pew research on Jews in America
  • Article about Jewish Hairstyles in a Jewish paper
  • Article saying anti-Jewish racism is not really racism
  • Tony Greenstein article about Israel being a Jewish supremacist state
  • Article about a Jewish Rabbi in Japan
  • Article about Jews being a race
  • Article about Israel banning Democratic U.S. congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar

Of the 30 articles, 22 of the images portrayed either Trump, Netanyahu, or an ultra-orthodox figure. Almost all of the connotations of the articles attached to the images were negative. And in a world that gave us Einstein- there are images of Ilhan Omar, but none of the Jewish Nobel prize winners and innovators that changed the way we live.

For those who think this is just a normal return of such a search query, I tested a similar search.

Typing ‘Muslim people’ into Google

Now try the same exercise with ‘Muslim people’. And we immediately see that we are facing an entirely different type of result:

We instantly see that we are actually looking at a Muslim landscape. But there is also no image of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud or Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Nor is there Osama Bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Gone are the politics and power, and all we can see are Muslims, the majority of images are of women, and all of the images look benign.

The difference becomes even more substantial when the articles attached to the images are opened. Gone are all the negative tones we found associated to the images of Jews:

  • Pew article on US Muslims
  • Academic article about perceptions of Muslims (written by Palestinian Muslim)
  • Article about anti-Muslim bigotry and the difficulty of being a Muslim in the US
  • Article about how the niqab is becoming more acceptable
  • NYT article explaining the wonders of Sufi Muslims
  • Article about how a politician who hated Muslims, can change his opinion of them
  • An article emphasising the diversity of thought amongst Muslims about Islamic law
  • An article looking at Muslims in Sri Lanka
  • Self-Care Tips Every Muslim Should Keep
  • An article about the sale of data in a Muslim focused app (neutral)
  • Pew research – how learning about Islam helps create positive views of Muslims
  • How Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric helped unite America against him
  • How more books should be written by young Muslims
  • Speaking to American Muslims about the bigotry they face
  • About building theological bridges between Christianity and Islam
  • How Islam will soon be the world’s largest religion
  • About the ban on some Islamic dress worn in Kazakhstan
  • About Muslims protesting France’s crackdowns on Islam
  • About how to counter Hindu bigotry against Muslims
  • An argument about Islamist extremism
  • About building bridges with Muslim communities in the US
  • How Islam’s roots in America go back to the Founding Fathers
  • About the size of the world’s Muslim population
  • About the difficulty of running for office in the US as a Muslim
  • About how most people accept Muslims but aren’t sure on Islam
  • An article on Nepal’s Muslims ‘stepping out of the shadows’
  • About attacks on a Muslim community in NYC
  • An article about a Muslim woman who hates Islamist terrorists.
  • About how Muslims prepare for Ramadan
  • An article about a queer Muslim’s pilgrimage to Mecca

Comparison of searches on Google images

It is impossible to overstate the differences. Apart from one or two outliers, every article about ‘Muslim people’ is positive and sympathetic. The majority of the articles are about how Muslims fit into society or about the bigotry they face. Only one of the thirty articles directly deals with Islamist extremism. If you were to create a liberal check-list of articles that you wanted to encourage people to read about Muslims, you can do little better than use the list above.

In the world today the vast majority of Muslim people live in despotic, backward nations. There is no indication of this at all. And unlike the search for ‘Jewish people’, which brought up several negative articles written by antisemites or their sympathisers, in the Muslim people section – there are no comparable texts.

The ‘Muslim nation’ angle is also lost. Many of the articles on Jews, lend to attacks on the Jewish state. Most Muslim majority countries are despotic backwaters, but there is no article here focusing on the activities of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. There is nothing about how Muslim majority nations are oppressing people everywhere, there are only articles about how Muslim people are apparently oppressed in the west. The Islamist terrorism that has shed blood in every western nation is also hardly mentioned – except as a backdrop to attack anti-Muslim bigotry.

Instead, what we have are two polar opposites and neither are real. Just as the results for Muslim people seems skewed in one direction, the result for Jewish people seems skewed in the other. It is impossible to argue that Donald Trump is the best example of a ‘Jewish person’ Google images can find. Something is seriously wrong and the two results are impossible to put alongside each other without acknowledging someone is pulling the strings.

My guess here is that Google actively ‘cleanses’ the search return for Muslims. For this reason we do not see search results that include images of Islamist terrorist attacks. But it is also clear that Google does not do the same with Jews. Instead what we see from the search returns on Jewish people is a real reflection of the antisemitism in our society. The images we see are ‘where the onine conversation is’ – when it comes to Jews. .

Subliminal spread of antisemitism

Before penning the article, I also tried the experiment with ‘black people’ and received a clean return of images, mostly women, children or victims of racism. And the articles, each and every one, either carried a positive message or studied racism. The search for ‘Hindu people’ gave a colourful and joyful set of images to choose from. A search for ‘Christian people’ returned a clean set of results. Even searching ‘Mormon people’ did. The outlier here is clearly with the Jews.

Jews are a tiny minority group. Those that hate us, those that seek us harm – far outnumber us. In an online world of ‘ranking’ pages by popularity, Jews are in real trouble.

What we mostly see in the search for ‘Jewish people’ is politics, power, money and quite a lot of anti-Zionist thought. The key image that is repeated over and over again is everyone’s favourite enemy – Donald Trump – and he isn’t even Jewish.

Now think about how that has an effect on the person who is doing the searching. When they search for Jews they are presented with a false and antisemitic image by Google’s own search engine. They are shown the ‘bogey man’. Google is actively reinforcing stereotypes of Jews whilst it clearly fights against the stereotypes of others.

Deliberate or not, We all know the power of the search engine and how they can subliminally shift public perception. Google’s search engine is currently helping to create antisemites – one search at a time. This must be urgently addressed.

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My research is unique and hard hitting. It also depends on community support.

I battle back against those who seek to revise history, demonise Israel –  and I expose antisemitism wherever it is found. I fight when others don’t. The results speak for themselves and for eight years I have been exposing hate and creating headlines.

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38 thoughts on “Google search promotes antisemitism

  1. I fully endorse your analysis. I’ve noticed for a long time that when using Google for any Jewish research the results are frustratingly negatively skewed. A clear and disturbing bias.

  2. Perhaps because practically all the captions under the photos say “Jewish people”.
    Nice try though.

    1. I typed “Jewish people” and asked for results from the past year. Image search still gives me one photo of Trump from a 2019 article, and one photo of Netanyahu from a 2018 article, in the first row (second and third images). Gal Gadot vs. Netanyahu second row, 2019 article. Is this 2022, or what?

      1. Nope. If the caption says Jewish people even under a photo of non-Jews, it will show up in a search for the words “Jewish people”.
        The pics of Trump are about his attitude to US Jewish people.
        Even for you, this blog is a stretch, Dudinke

        1. again – it is a comparison. Explain the lack of similar results in the others. And google RANKS pages – and quintessential Jewish people should turn up in the initial results. However you try to spin it.

          a – the search results are not accurate
          b – other, similar searches are not erring in a similar fashion..

          But again, nice try.

        2. The caption under the photo of Trump in my search for the past year is “President Trump on Aug. 20 said Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats have a “lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” (Video: The Washington Post)”. No mention of “Jewish people”.

  3. Thousands of ZIONISTS chanting “Death to Arabs,” paraded through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City.

    1. He’s let you back Brucie.

      Still banging on about “Palestine” Did you miss this? Got to admit it makes you look a bit of a berk.

      Soviet bloc defector, Major General Ion Mihai Pacepa, shows that for the Arabs, the peace process is, and has from the outset, been nothing but a charade.

      It all started with the creation of a fictitious “Palestinian People” who allegedly demand political self determination. This collective noun was created by the Soviet disinformation masters in 1964 when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the “PLO”

  4. The way Google gets photos is different from Bing. (When I repeated the search in Bing I got mostly Charedim or identifiably Jewish people e.g. wearing a Kippa Seruga). On Bing, most of the first page of images for “Muslim People” are women – probably because they are readily identifiable as Muslim due to wearing a Hijab / Naqib. Yandex is also better than Google for this search (although even more Charedim).

    Google looks for text in the article from where the image is taken. If you change your search from “Jewish people” to “Jews” the images are much more positive. “Jewish” is also better than “Jewish people” (but “Muslim” still gives mostly women).

    So the problem isn’t image bias but textual bias in the way “Jewish people” appears in articles. That is why so many negative images / articles appear. (Think about how you’d write an article as a Jew. You’d say “The Jewish way is” or “Jews do …”. But anti-Semites / non-Jews are more likely to write “Jewish people are….” and this is what Google is picking up (and why Trump keeps appearing).

    Another reason is that the main source for the Google images are press / news sources which are more likely to be biased against Israel / Jews and so the images used reflect the bias of the article.

    Perhaps analyse the sources for the positive versus the negative items. I think you’ll find that the positive ones are less likely to be news sources. (Also consider “Israeli” vs. “Israeli people” vs. “Israel” vs. “Zionist”. On first glance, “Israel” comes out mostly OK).

  5. Soviet bloc defector, Major General Ion Mihai Pacepa is in the pay of the apartheid regime.

  6. 2 points:
    1) To bolster your case, other search engines do not return the same sinister results as Google. I tried DuckDuckGo, Brave and Yahoo search and got the kind of images you would expect to when searching for “jewish people”. DDG does not use info on your browsing history to define your results so no chance of an echo chamber, but I not sure if DDG generally has a filtering policy on certain topics to control the results (they recently said they would downrank Russian news sites) but the fact those 3 search engines are quite similar suggests not
    2) DuckDuckGo have claimed Google is somehow still able to personalise your search results in Incognito mode. So that might impact the results you are getting. Google deny it. Many articles on this online. You might want to try using a VPN to check

    Hopefully people will move away from using Google search over time with the other options out there

    1. DDG and Yahoo! both use Bing as their search source. DDG states they use Bing (and other sources) and emphasises they don’t use Google. Yahoo! is now just a search portal, taking results from Bing (with the exception of Yahoo! Japan which is separate and still does search). Brave is still in Beta and so results are more limited. However Brave stated in June 2021 that “for some features, like searching for images, Brave Search will fetch results from Microsoft Bing” – as does Ecosia. (Source: The Register 20/10/21). DDG also has a deal with Bing that allows for some degree of tracking – so they aren’t a totally clean as one would hope. They are correct however that Google can personalise some results in Incognito mode – based on your language, location and a few other factors. (They just won’t get search history).

      This matches what I wrote yesterday about why Google gives negative results for “Jewish People” and why Bing doesn’t. Essentially image search using Google uses the text in the containing article while Bing uses other signals and so results are different. (Look at the difference in the search bar too when you do a reverse image search. Google states what words they use while Bing, etc. doesn’t. It’s also why Bing / Yandex, etc. offered image cropping way before Google that sort of does now with the Google Lens option).

      Essentially Google’s algorithm is at fault and it’s not deliberate antiSemitism at all. It harks back to when sites like JewWatch came to the top of the results for searches on Jews – because antiSemites linked to it. Google changed this by suppressing particular sites – showing that it wasn’t aiming to be antiSemitic. They did this for other searches e.g. the notorious Googlebombs like “Failure” that brought up George Bush’s Whitehouse page. I doubt that Google would be able to change this issue without completely re-writing their image search algorithm as it’s not one or two sites that need blocking but a whole raft of sites brought up for a search that is more likely to be chosen by non-Jews looking for negatives on Jews (i.e. the sort who say “You Jewish people….”).

        1. This is a new Stephenism, Ken where he wraps himself in textual contortions to say things without saying them or necessarily understanding them. This one first appeared two episodes ago and I imagine will be a series regular before long.

          He’s been quite dull of late.

            1. Oh come on son. You know I think your Poly Rag-Mag Stephenisms are a hoot. I always look forward to a new episode here from DC to chortle at your pokes, find out what old Scoffie did in 2007 and catch up with the latest japes from your Gnasher reel.

              Who wants “Jews are mint”, “Jews are shit” padding out every show? Dull as a damp day in Dudley.

    1. “It could be tomorrow, and it could be today,
      When our lad says ‘I’m done’ and he flounces away”.

      Sky takes the soul
      The Proclaimers
      1987

    1. The site statistician informs me that Stephen’s latest flounce lasted 9 days, 11 hours and 14 minutes. This is his 23rd flounce since his first post here nearly a decade ago and the 4th longest, still some way to go to overtake his Grande Flounce of ’20.

        1. Dunno.

          Are they when you stomp around like a big, gay, pretend Oirish baby and say you’re never coming back here again and then a few days later, you come back?

            1. Which bit are you struggling with Stephen; the bit where you flounce off and then come straight back again or the “pretend Oirish” crack?

    1. FFS son, we’ve discussed this. Stop typing whilst driving. Kill a kiddie and you’ll be flouncing from here for much longer than a few days.

        1. Funny you mentioning 500 metres Stephen. I’m hearing that this is as far as you nutty Brits get on a tank of petrol these days. Lucky for you, you’ll soon be heating your houses with our nice cheap Israeli gas, piped to your door all the way from paradise. (Chortle).

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