A new online campaign is calling out Google for continuing to block the word “bisexual” from its auto-complete feature.
“If you type in gay, lesbian or transgender into a Google search box, Google Instant Search begins to auto-complete the search while making relevant suggestions,” explains Faith Cheltenham, president of bisexual advocacy group BiNet USA, on the Change.org petition. “However when you begin to type in bisexual, there are no suggestions provided which lead many to believe there are no search results. Since 2010, Google has blocked the word bisexual from its auto-complete and Instant Search features so users have to go an extra step to see the millions of results related to bi people, bisexuality, bi community, bisexual resources and bi organizations.”
Launched by Quist founder Sarah Prager after she received a warning message on the LGBTQ history app, the campaign points out how Google is perpetuating discrimination against bi people — a too often overlooked group in the LGBT community.
According to Prager, in 2010, the Google Help Desk said this was a glitch and that it would be fixed. On July 2, 2012, a Google spokesperson said to BiNet USA: “Sometimes perfectly good search terms can trip up our algorithms that decide whether to show instant results. This can happen when our automatic filters detect a strong correlation on the (unfiltered) Internet between those terms and pornography…”
Later that year, Google stated that they had lifted the ban on auto-completing bisexual terms. But that never took effect, says Prager. On March 10, 2014, Prager sent an email to Google outlining the request of the petition and has not received a response.
Sign the petition today at Change.org.