In response to an online protest, Google has announced it would be cleaning up the automatic search results to eliminate results the company considers “hate speech,” said Jason Freidenfelds, a company spokesperson.
The autism activist group behind the online movement rounded supporters with their blog “Autistic People Should…” encouraged people with people with autism to counteract those violent suggestions with poetry and positive awareness of the developmental condition.
But how did this happen? How did these autism ‘die’ search suggestions become so frequent that it triggered Google’s “auto-complete” function to help users search for these terms much more easily?
Here are two reasons:
- Lack of education – Just pure ignorance. Bullying is an epidemic that continues to plague our schools and with students with special needs more likely to be victims, it becomes vital that we all contribute to help stop this movement.
- Personal experience – For some people, especially parents, learning that your child falls on the autism spectrum may cause some internal emotions that can sometimes lead to anger and resentment.
It will take some time for the change to roll out, Freidenfelds said, as it is not simply a matter of deleting certain words or phrases. A broader net must be cast to take into account the many different ways users phrase their inquiries.