theletter.co.ukKnow how you start typing a phrase into a Google search window and all sorts of possibilities pop up to help you find the search you’re after? That helps me a lot in my daily forays into web research.

But look at this…..not helpful, Google.

Google, the Internet’s ubiquitous search engine, is under fire this week for censoring negative search results about Islam. If you type “Christianity is” into the Google search box, there immediately pop up a series of suggested completions to the sentence, most of them derogatory: “Christianity is bulls—t,” “Christianity is not a religion,” “Christianity is a lie,” “Christianity is false,” “Christianity is wrong,” “Christianity is fake.” No positive suggests come up. Likewise with “Buddhism is,” and the sentence is once again completed with numerous negative suggestions: “Buddhism is wrong,” “Buddhism is not what you think,” and so on.

So, it’s not only Christianity. This religion free-for-all is restricted, selectively.

But type in “Islam is,” and nothing comes up at all. The negative suggestions inundating the searcher for other religions are nowhere to be seen.

Google, however, says it was all a mistake, and denies have done anything to favor Islam. “This is a bug,” insisted a Google spokesman, “and we’re working to fix it as quickly as we can.” Oddly enough, however, even with all of Google’s technical savvy, this “bug” persisted for days and continues as of this writing, long after Google’s announcement that it would quickly be fixed.

Right.

Critics have complained for years about Google’s tendency to decorate its logo colorfully for cherished days of the Left such as Earth Day and International Women’s Day, while ignoring Christmas (aside from bland Holiday greetings) and Easter. What’s more, Google-owned YouTube has more than once removed material critical of Islamic jihad supremacism, while allowing blood-curdling pro-jihad and vile anti-Semitic material to remain on the site.

Hey, we can use some voluntary self-censorship, each one of us. Like, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s offensive blurts (recently, as well as his penchant for profanity) and high profile politicians and media folks caught making off-color remarks when they don’t know the mic is hot. Like no doubt all of us, with our occasional slip of the tongue. The Bible warns about the wicked tongue untamed, and the harm it can do.

But don’t search the Christian Bible on Google. Who knows what translation they may pull up.

One of the things I like about Wikipedia is the sort of democracy of the Wiki world. Harkening back to President Obama’s address at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington this week, at which he spoke to people of all ranks and religions, let’s have more civility in the Google world.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....