At a time when the US is bleeding red from the recent mass shootings in Texas that left over 30 people dead, Google is showing shopping results for 100-bullet magazines, despite policies against gun ads.
A Google search for “.223 100rd” (short for round) displays sponsored results on the right side of the page, with more links leading to buyable products on the Shopping tab, The Verge reportedon Monday.
As noted by Pinboard developer Maciej Ceglowski, Google’s algorithms also fail to block search results for other gun accessories.
Earlier in 2012, Google imposed a ban on gun-related advertisements. The Google advertisement policy strictly prohibits ads for any part or component of a gun other than those designed to increase its safety, such as gun trigger locks.
Currently, a search for “AR 15 mod” does not turn up any results, presumably because it has been de-listed by a manual filter, but spelling out “fifteen” brings up pages of sponsored, shoppable products, eluding that same block, the report said.
“We have strict policies that govern the kinds of ads we allow on our platform, and ads for guns or gun parts are a violation of those policies. When we find ads that violate our policies, we remove them,” the report quoted a Google spokesperson as saying while justifying its efforts.
Earlier in 2018, shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Google displayed AR-15 bump stocks as buyable shopping results.
At the time, the company admitted the ads were a mistake caused by “human error.”
Later, overcompensating for its mistake, Google banned all results with or related to the word “gun” — including merchandise from music groups Guns N’ Roses and Sex Pistols, and the anime Gundam.