BiNet USA Confronts Google over Bisexual Search Access
Written by Staff Writer July 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM
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. 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 million of results related to bi people, bisexuality, bi community, bisexual resources and bi organizations. In 2010, Google Help Desk said that "the block" which included the words "lesbian" and "bisexual" was "a bug" and would be fixed. But in June of 2011 in an otherwise Google-positive piece Bi Media pointed out the problem saying, "when you type in words like ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’ the search engine’s predictive search kicks in and offers suggestions of what you might be looking for as you type, when you type ‘bisexual’ that doesn’t happen. It seems google thinks the b-word is a bad word." After two years, the word "lesbian" has been unblocked but "bisexual" apparently still remains on the list of words Google doesn't complete.
Ellen Ruthstrom, President of the Bisexual Resource Center says "One of the most important things that organized bisexual groups do is create resources and connection for individuals trying to find community, primarily on the Internet. With Google's blocking of the word "bisexual," it makes it that much more difficult for those in need of support to find us."