Google refuses to remove 'racist' Michelle Obama caricature

Google today refused to remove a racist caricature of Michelle Obama that was the first result presented to users of its search engine.

The US firm conceded that the picture – which depicts the US First Lady with the features of a monkey – was offensive but resisted calls to take it down.

The disturbing image was the top result suggested to anyone who typed “Michelle Obama” into Google Images, the firm’s picture search engine.

Complaints about the picture have reignited the debate about how far Google is responsible for the content it archives, and highlighted flaws in the complex calculations it uses to rank the “relevance” of results.

In a rare move, Google posted a message at the top of the results page for Michelle Obama distancing itself from the image.

The note, which appeared in space usually reserved for adverts, stated: “Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree” and directed users to a page explaining the technology giant’s laissez-faire approach to dealing with distasteful search results.

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I googled "Michelle Obama" at Google Images & the pic that caused the fuss is no longer the first result:

I had to google "Michelle Obama Google" to locate it.

This is now the first result: