Google Removes ‘How Can I Join ISIS’ Autosuggestion

Google Removes 'How Can I Join ISIS' Autosuggestion

The search phrase was giving people advice for joining the radical group

People in the US and UK that searched the phrase “how can I join” were greeted with a handful of autosuggestions, such as “police,” “the illuminati,” and “a union.” The fourth was “isis.” The BBC alerted Google of this and the company has since removed the term.

Google says AutoComplete’s suggestions are based “on a number of factors, including the popularity of search terms.” Google has previously removed certain words from suggestions, including swearing and some sexual language.

"We periodically update our systems to improve Search, so the terms that appear in Autocomplete may change over time," a spokesman says. "We exclude only a narrow set of search queries such as those related to pornography, violence, hate speech, and copyright infringement."

ISIS is known for its effective use of social media for recruiting young people across the world.

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.

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