Search engine behemoth Google is apologizing for image-search results delivered for first lady Michelle Obama that show the No. 1 image of her online to be a racist caricature.
"We apologize if you've had an upsetting experience using Google. We hope you understand our position regarding offensive results," says a house ad from "the Google team" served up in conjunction with image results for queries on the first lady's name.
"Search results are a reflection of the content on the web. Our search results simply reflect what's out there," Google spokesman Scott Rubin explained. "According to the way our algorithm works, when we try to deliver the most relevant search results based on other pages that link to it and so on, this is what is returned."
He said it was possible that the image ranked so high because people were linking to it to condemn it, but noted that there was no way for the company to know for sure. Page rank is the result of "more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms," according to Google.
"Because the image is offensive to many, we felt it was important to explain to our users why an image like that would appear," Rubin said.
The racist image was previously removed by Google in response to a complaint by Search Engine Roundtable, which objected that "If you conduct a search in Google Images for [Michelle Obama] you will see a racist image in the number one result."
Thank you Google...no reason for more racist pics out there...if you think they are wrong in taking it down,Â just go to one of the KKK sites, they still have them up.