The Indian state of Karnataka announced Thursday that it plans to send a legal notice to Google after a search result showed that the state’s official language, Kannada, was the “ugliest language in the world. ‘India’.
A Google search for “India’s ugliest language” brought up Kannada as the top result, sparking backlash on social media.
The tech giant then issued a statement and apologized for “the misunderstanding and hurt feelings.” In response to the controversy, a Google spokesperson said the search is not always perfect.
“Sometimes the way content is described on the internet can give surprising results to specific queries. We know this is not ideal, but we take quick corrective action when we are made aware of a problem and we are working. continually improving our algorithms. “
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Naturally, the spokesperson added, these do not reflect the views of Google, and “we apologize for the misunderstanding and hurt feelings.”
Home to the great Vijayanagara empire, #Kannada the language has a rich heritage, a glorious heritage and a unique culture. One of the oldest languages in the world, Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics long before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century. Apologize @GoogleIndia. pic.twitter.com/Xie927D0mf
– PC Mohan (@PCMohanMP) June 3, 2021
However, many, including leaders of the southern Indian state, have expressed outrage at the research result.
Karnataka Minister Aravind Limbavali demanded an apology from the tech company, saying it was an attempt by Google to insult the pride of Kannada speakers.
The Kannada language has its own history, having emerged 2,500 years ago! This has been the pride of Kannadigas throughout these two and a half millennia. 1/2#Kannada
– Aravind Limbavali (@ArvindLBJP) June 3, 2021
“The Kannada language has its own history, having emerged 2,500 years ago. It has been the pride of the Kannadigas throughout these two and a half millennia,” Limbavali tweeted.
In a series of tweets, HD Kumaraswamy, former chief minister of state, said “not just Kannada, no language is bad, adding that language abuse is painful.”
“Is it impossible for Google to curb such hatred against a language? ” He asked.
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Google is one of the fastest growing tech companies in India and has expanded its presence into many Indian states and languages. It plans to expand further in India as mobile internet continues to reach even some of the most remote areas of the country.
The tech giant ultimately excluded the webpage from its search results. At that time, videos and thousands of social media posts were shared criticizing the search result.
(With additional contribution from the BBC)