Google has officially responded to the claim by some that they are censoring the answer to a question on their Google Home devices. Earlier today, I wrote about how Google Home may be censoring their answer to “Who is Jesus Christ?“.
Here is the official statement regarding this from the Google Spokesperson:
The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about “Who is Jesus” or “Who is Jesus Christ” wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect. Some of the Assistant’s spoken responses come from the web, and for certain topics, this content can be more vulnerable to vandalism and spam. If our systems detect such circumstances, the Assistant might not reply. If similar vulnerabilities were detected for other questions–including those about other religious leaders–the Assistant also wouldn’t respond. We’re exploring different solutions and temporarily disabling these responses for religious figures on the Assistant. — Google Spokesperson
While I do understand where Google is coming from, it sounds to me like they might be referring to the fact that people do spam Google, and that’s the reason there is no answer? Is that the reason? Certainly for certain queries there are, in fact, a lot more spam attempts. However, in this case I don’t think there is, in fact, a case that it’s spam.
Google currently does not have a knowledge graph entry for this search query–which might explain why there is no result and Google Home does not know about Jesus Christ.
Here’s the tweet from the Google SearchLiaison, Danny Sullivan:
Some have noticed the Google Assistant wouldn’t respond for “Who is Jesus.” This wasn’t out of disrespect but to ensure respect. Some Assistant replies come from the web. It might not reply in cases where web content is more vulnerable to vandalism & spam. Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/7iu1D8FEEK
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 26, 2018