Google’s most popular feature with searches is ‘suggestions’. The suggestions sometimes appear much before you have finished typing. Many wonder how Google knows what you are exactly looking for.
After a court in Italy held search engines responsible for suggesting offensive terms, Google had elucidated that “search suggestion service suggests words potentially connected to the words that users type on the Google search field”.
So that might be the reason when my friend typed ‘Arindam Chaudhuri’ on Google and it suggested the word ‘Fraud’ associated to the name. The user was surprised by the suggestion because Arindam Chaudhuri is the Director of IIPM (The Indian Institute of Planning and Management), a private B-School in India. He posted the screen-shot on Twitter (http://twitpic.com/5f6t8h) on June 22, 2011 for all to see.
Next I decided to do a quick search about IIPM, unfortunately the word ‘Fraud’ showed up next to the name.
Following this, somebody who claims may be representing ‘IIPM and Arindam Chaudhuri’ committed a fatal error, she shot a mail from her personal email ID to the user asking him to remove that picture, else face legal action. The mail further claims that they have settled the issue with Google, but Google gracefully refused to comply unless this picture is taken off.
I am skeptical if IIPM did this since they claim to be one of the premier B-Schools in India, with the so-called best think-tank heading them. Secondly any third-party who sends a mail on their behalf threatening legal action is only going to put the institution in bad light. It only endorses what Google is suggesting.
How can you hold the user responsible for what Search Engines suggest? The Management Guru should know that taking legal action on every negative comment is not the solution, since there are plenty of bad mouthing that happens on the Internet. And with the kind of suggestions that comes up during searches, it’s obvious that users will click on the forbidden combination and you further lose credibility. What you ought to do is to figure out why it is so, and then sort it out amicably. Your reputation is at stake and your prime concern should be to deal with negative contents about you on the Internet if you are really that great an institution; after all everybody deserve to keep their goodwill intact. Let sense prevail!