It is the Pride Month and tech companies are mostly on the forefront to celebrate it in several different ways. Google, for instance, has now introduced a new label in Search and Maps that lets business owners tell they are a LGBTQ+ community member. The LGTBQ+ label is the addition to a wide range of existing labels on Google Maps that are aimed at helping people locate and support local businesses. Also Read - Google News makes a comeback in Spain after a break of eight years
Google on Wednesday announced the new LGBTQ+ label will be available for businesses in the US, but the condition for them to use it is that they need to have verified profiles. The company said that once verified profiles apply for the label, their business will show up as LGBTQ+ owned on Maps, as well as on Search. Also Read - Google Password Manager can now be placed on your Android's home screen
While the representation of the LGBTQ+ community on Google’s internet properties has grown over the years, the latest label could also be misused. Google currently does not have a system to verify the self-identifiable labels, so anyone with a verified profile could use the new LGBTQ+ label, in addition to others such as Black-owned, Latino-owned, among others. In other words, a business that is not owned by an LGBTQ+ member could use the label to attract a certain crowd. However, Google does make it clear that the label was added by the business itself. Also Read - Google Meet gets picture-in-picture mode: How to use
Besides, Google has also added the capability to report any harassment to the new LGBTQ+ label. This tool becomes a part of the set of resources that are already available on Google Maps for people looking for LGBTQ+ friendly businesses. Some of the labels that are aimed at helping such people include “LGBTQ friendly” and “Transgender safespace.”
“As we celebrate Pride, it’s important to remember visibility and representation are critical, all year round. A flag in the window of a small business has the power to bring queer folks together, to celebrate our joy, honor our history, and fight for our diverse community,” Mackenzie Thomas, product & marketing inclusion lead at Google wrote in a blog post.
Google has not specified when or whether the new LGBTQ+ label will be available to businesses outside of the US — at least in markets where LGBTQ community is recognised.
— Shubham Verma