Update: Google has just released an official statement in response to this search term. The complete statement by a spokesperson for the company states that the screenshot for the result is not original. It states, “While we continue to investigate the matter, we have not found any evidence that Google Images was ranking the Pakistani flag in response to this particular search. Many news outlets wrote about an old screenshot from a meme website that is inconsistent with our UI and dates back to 2017, and we have not seen any independent verification that these results ever appeared as depicted. Since these news stories published, images from those articles are now ranking for this query, as the pages contain words relevant to the search.”
Google has been showing the Pakistani flag when searching for the term “best toilet paper in the world”, the “best China-made toilet paper” or just “toilet paper”. Screenshots of the search results have gone viral as memes, posts and status updates on several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Apart from images of the Pakistan flags, a search for toilet paper-related queries on Google results into a number of media reports that have been circulating around the subject.
A query to Google about whether the glitch has been taken care of or not went unanswered. Google Search algorithms have often displayed inappropriate search results on certain topics. Earlier, searching words like “Feku”, “Pappu” and “Idiot” led users to images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and US President Donald Trump, respectively.
The glitch on Google Search results was noticed a couple of days after the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that left 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel dead. The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar. Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has claimed the responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack. Adil Ahmed Dar, the top suspect, was identified as a local of Kakapora in Pulwama district.
Unsurprisingly, the terror attack drew criticism from various quarters and countries. A day after the Pulwama terror attack, India also withdrew “Most Favoured Nation” or MFN status accorded to Pakistan.
With inputs from IANS