Hawzah News Agency – Google has been criticized after its algorithm suggested anyone searching for a New Zealand-related video look up the Christchurch mosque shooting.
Kara Šegedin, a digital marketing manager, expressed her anger at the online giants in a tweet yesterday after her search for a football match provided suggestions for the mosque shooting video.
"Google, you should be ashamed. Went to search for 'Where to watch NZ vs Netherlands in the Women's World Cup' and this is what comes up?! You can control this," she wrote.
The initial live-streamed shooting video was viewed almost 4000 times before it was removed from Facebook. It was then copied and spread virally through Google-owned YouTube, Twitter and other platforms.
The video is no longer available online.
A Google spokesperson said the autocomplete predictions were "algorithmically generated based on users' search activity and interests".
"We do our best to prevent offensive terms, like porn and hate speech, from appearing, but we don't always get it right. Autocomplete isn't an exact science and we're always working to improve our algorithms."
Tech experts in New Zealand added Google itself wasn't to blame for the suggested search.
Peter Griffin, technology commentator, also said the suggestions in Google were based on the most popular previous searches from Google users.
"I don't see it as a failing on Google's part," Griffin said.
"It is a reflection on us, on society, because for those pre-populated phrases to appear, a hell of a lot of people needed to search using it."