Google Autocomplete Reveals Serious And Disturbing Anti-Gay Discrimination


A really powerful campaign was just released by the UN and their specialized UN Women division, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. It shows that by typing in the phrases — “women should”, ‘”women shouldn’t”, “women cannot”, and “women need to” —  people are still discriminatory via their Google searches. The ads utilize suggestions made by Google autocomplete, which is “a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.” Which got us thinking — what does search say about gays? What we found isn’t shocking, but it is dismaying in today’s ever-changing world.

Check out the ads below, as well as our comparable searches:

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Homosexuality is illegal in some 78 countries, five of which actually prescribe the death penalty; meanwhile, other nations are trying to pass similar legislation. Even in countries where homosexuality is technically legal, like Russia, LGBT people still live in fear of violence. To combat this, the UN recently launched an anti-homophobia campaign as well as a global campaign for LGBT equality. As for gays not being allowed to adopt, laws and attitudes are changing not only in the US, but all over the world, even in Russia where plans to pass an anti-gay parenting bill were, at least temporarily, dropped.


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Over the past few years, marriage equality has been sweeping the nation and whether you like it or not, the times they are a-changin’ — just yesterday New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Meanwhile a study by the Williams Institute estimates that some 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted kids in the U.S. Still, only a handful of states and countries fully recognize these families.


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Yes, gay men still can’t officially give blood, which is ridiculous because straight people can be just as risky or even riskier with their sexual partners. The American Medical Association clearly knows this as they voted to reject the federal ban on gay male blood donations earlier this year. However, the decision ultimately rests with the FDA, which maintains that gay men are a high risk group — despite minimal risk of HIV/AIDS transmission. Well, at least lesbians can now donate blood in China.


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Well, frankly, some gays do need to stop whining and shut up. But not about equality. Never shut up about that. It’s only through tireless activism and the courage to speak up that we can affect true change. To borrow a slogan from ACT UP’s gay heyday, silence = death. And there are far too many people who would want LGBT people to experience both.

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  • 2eo

    Given how Google co-operate with violent and vicious regimes all over the world this shouldn’t be surprising. Google are only interested in protecting governments.

    See their embarrassing monumental climb down against China for just one example, we are their product and they don’t care about anything but the bottom line.

    They, along with Facebook, Blackberry and Apple are among the absolute worst abusers of personal rights on the planet. At least Google haven’t openly collaborated with Blackwater and Russia in providing names and profiles of left wing leaning activists to both.

  • Charles175

    This is the smoking gun of evidence that we are hated so much. That oppression is still alive and well. This right here needs to be used in court against those that try to make legally it appear as though this kind of thing does not happen. Let this go viral.

  • Charles175

    The photographers all of these searches should have typed in the minimal about of word to complete the phrase. I merely typed in, “gays” and at the top of the list says, “gays should be killed”. Add a space and the letters “sh” then the list as pictured above shows.

  • BritAus

    It must only be in the USA because here in Australia I get
    gays and lesbians
    gays in the bible
    (and my favourite)
    gays on boats

  • MikeE

    @BritAus: you have to put more than the word “gays”.

    have you tried the search with the same search words? “gays should…” “gays cannot…” “gays need to…”?

    Because I get the EXACT same search results when I do it: put to death, stop whining, etc…

  • tardis

    Being that Google is progay, I’ve always wondered why those searches were options considering how vile they are. How does autocomplete work anyway? Does it automate information that is constantly searched on its own?

  • whatisthis

    @tardis: All I know is that the autocomplete doesn’t show porn searches, yet it shows searches of violence, death, and murder of groups of people. Pitiful.

  • Mr. E. Jones

    How dare you compare the plight of women–who are 52% of the worlds population–to the easy life that gays–who are 3% of the population–have!

    Did you see the pictures of all the haters who protested against the pride parade in Montenegro? The poor women were forced to stand in the [b]back[/b] of the crowd. That’s real discrimination!

  • Cam

    As I understand it, Google auto-complete is based upon the most common searches and not on some executive in Google saying that gays should be killed so lets put that in the auto-complete.

  • bigomega73

    Maybe this is a new thing, but the only people I have ever heard use the phrase “gays” have been homophobes. I’ve never hear gay people use this phrase except in a tongue-in-cheek mocking way. “The gays”. So you’re obviously going to get the most popular searches made by homophobes if you use that phrase in your search. And that won’t tell you what percentage of the population uses it either. There could be only 10 people that ever use that phrase (I’m just using that as an example, I know it’s way more than 10) but it will still pop up cuz autocomplete looks for the most applicable result. A more accurate search would be “gay people should, shouldn’t, etc, etc”

  • bigomega73

    @bigomega73: well I guess that’s what I get for giving humanity the benefit of the doubt. The search results are the same. Depressing

  • sam1887

    I’m not sure how concerning this is, if you type those phrases in english in to google trends (for both women and gays) none of them have actually been used enough to generate graphs. I’m not sure if that’s an issue with length of phrases etc though.
    Just because those are the most often used searches beginning with those phrases doesn’t mean those searches are used often surely?

  • DaveNY

    To be fair – the “gays cannot” searches may well be influenced by gays, and gay supporters, looking into limitations. If you weren’t already aware of it, you might well be tempted to search “gays cannot donate blood” if someone told you that was the law in the US — it wouldn’t mean you’re anti-gay! I mean, “gays cannot adopt” is a much more ambiguous search than “women cannot be trusted”!

  • BJ McFrisky

    I thought we weren’t “gays” any longer, but LGBTs. Try Googling that instead, you get none of the hate speech.

    @DaveNY: Agreed. Slippery slope, hazy area, and a dozen other metaphors. To paraphrase Air Supply, Queerty editors are “making news out of nothing at all.”

  • Spike

    TIL. Just tried it myself and found the same. Disturbing.

    Shame on you Google.

  • Tookietookie123

    How is this Google’s fault? The autocomplete doesn’t represent Google, it represent the society we live in. The reality is, we will never be completely accepted, like any other minority, there will always be those who want to do us harm despite widespread support.

  • 2eo

    @Tookietookie123: Actually that’s only partially true, Google uses algorithms based on keywords. They also massage and censor results of their autocomplete in millions of ways.

    They are allowed because they have deemed them acceptable.

  • Rockery

    One of these isn’t necessarily homophobic, I myself have searched “gays cannot give blood” just to see what the status was.

  • Allan

    Type in Muslims should, Jews should and one will see the same thing. The world is full of hateful ignorant people, It is difficult to change the world. The one amazing thing is type in Christians should, or catholics should or baptist should. NOTHING bad comes up there. SO WHAT does this TELL EVERYONE…… Think about it!

  • bledoutcolor

    I saw the original womens rights campaign and thought the same (conflicting) things i did when i saw this:

    1. This is a brilliant campaign on a worthy issue

    2. The results could be easily faked/the sentence phrasing seems leading. Wish they had just typed the minimal amount required for their point to come accross as an above poster said.

    One other thought is how striking it is that “gays should” returned “be put to death” instead of “have the same rights” though. I may be incorrect on this but doesnt google factor in previous search history per individual basis when recommending search phrases? If so couldnt someone retype antigay things to generate these phrases, and if they had typed progay phrases would it have returned progay search suggestions?

    The message is good butthe delivery is questionable. Though the box being over the mouth of the minority in question as if to silence them was brilliant. I just wish the gay campaign would have used everyday gays and lesbians, as opposed to celebrity gay men, and also included a couple of trans folk for good measure.

    I do appreciate the effort and cause though. Just some things that popped into my head straight off. Seems like it has some hits and misses from a point of constructive criticisim.

  • hamoboy

    I don’t really understand why people are mad at google in the comments. Google is merely reflecting the most popular searches in their autocomplete bar. Not sure how Google can be anti-gay because of that.

Comments are closed.