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Google Removing Hateful References To Autism


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Responding to complaints, Google is taking steps to ensure that suggestions from its search engine do not include hateful ideas about those with the developmental disorder.

As of last week, Google searchers who entered the phrase “autistic people should” were prompted with suggestions including “be killed,” “die” and “be exterminated” by the search engine’s auto-complete function.

But in response to complaints from autism advocates who called the suggested searches offensive, Google officials say they are in the process of deprecating the questionable suggestions. Users will still be able to access all of the same websites through Google, but they will no longer be prompted toward the offensive phrases.

Nonetheless, not everyone within the autism community agrees that the change is appropriate, with some arguing that intentionally removing the suggestions from Google’s algorithm amounts to censorship, reports The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger. To read more click here.

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Comments (11 Responses)

  1. Katie says:

    Not “autism advocates”. Autistic people. Self-Advocates. Autistic Disability Rights Activists. We did this.
    Autism $peaks already wrote us out of the story, and now you are, too. Please – stop.

  2. Adriana says:

    Autism advocates is too general. This was an effort started and carried out by Autistics, Autistic activists, Autistic self-advocates, Autistic advocates and some real allies. Autism $peaks, the one group that the media – mistakenly – goes to when asking about autism has tried to hide this very important fact because it goes against their propaganda that Autistics cannot be activists and engaged. And before the misconceptions begin, no, there were non-speaking Autistics activists involved in the effort too

  3. Alyssa says:

    Autistic autism advocates with some allies. Autistic ideas, Autistic-run, primarily Autistic participants. Crediting that it’s not a thing that “just happened” is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Autistic people did it, you need to say so too.

  4. Elissa says:

    I have a son with autism and People First language says to use “person with autism” not “autistic person” and much less “autistics”. If people with autism define themselves as “autistics” and “autistic people’ may the rest of us use those terms?

  5. Alyssa says:

    YES. Yes you can.
    People first language is preferred by SOME people with autism, but there are MANY Autistic people who do not want to be referred to with person-first language at all. Identity-first and identity-only are actually pretty common, and most of the people who call ourselves “Autistics” have a strong preference for identity-first or only. We weren’t the ones who taught you people-first.

  6. Genesis says:

    Please stop referencing Autism Speaks…. they don’t view people like myself as human, at all.

  7. fridawrites says:

    This is great–it took them too long. As an FYI, the same thing happens if you type in “disabled people should” or “handicapped people should.”

  8. Ian says:

    Google still has some work to do on this.

    Typing “autistics” prompts “are retarded,” “violent,” and “are dangerous.”

    Typing “autistics should” prompts “be killed.”

    Typing “aspies are” prompts “annoying,” “selfish,” and “sociopaths.”

    Typing “aspies should” prompts “die.”

  9. Zoe says:

    Autistic people are the TRUE voice of Autism, let us be heard!

  10. Mary Tormey says:

    Heck we forgot to give credit to them for what they did. So right now let me thank media powerhouses Bob Wright and Peter Lanza for using NBC and other media outlets to slander Autistic people and create unfortunate autocompletes in the first place.

  11. michelle says:

    My concern ….we move forward and educate, I live with autism in our family and Teach in my Career …. yet social media is also undoing so much good with hateful pages and the ability to spread messages that are not factual but based on ignorance …. and the youth of today are the ones hearing this ….more policing of social media pages is needed and more ability to act when reported.

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