Google 'glitch' returns swearing if you 'define an English person'

Google may have to crank out the spanners again, as when users attempt to define what an English person is, offensive results are displayed in the number one spot.

Imagine arguably the 'worst' swear word you can think of. It rhymes with "punt", and I should probably leave it at that.

Google is investigating why that particular swear word is bumped up to the top of its search results, when one enters the term: "What defines an English person".

(Source: Google)

As with most search queries, Wikipedia pops up with at least one of its related entries, it seems no out of the ordinary that Wikipedia should once again reveal how very in-depth its encyclopaedia is -- including that of swear words.

Google, somewhat baffled by the result, said that it was "looking into" the case, where a "bad case of ranking" could be to blame.

It would not come as any great surprise to find that it was caused by pesky kids causing trouble in the online neighbourhood by 'Google-bombing' the search result.

By tactically creating vast numbers of hyperlinks to a particular article -- combined with a certain phrase -- users can manipulate Google's algorithm to place one result higher than another.

One of the web's most memorable favourites of Google-bombing was when a user entered the term: "miserable failure", the then U.S. President George W. Bush would be shown at the top of the search results.

But Google remains impartial to politics, and other controversial topics.

There are times where it will actively intervene to prevent such results or images from showing, if the content is deemed inappropriate, illegal, or to be infringing copyright.

Google was in the middle of a firestorm in 2009, when a doctored image showed the current First Lady Michelle Obama depicted as a 'monkey'. Over a few days, it reached the number-one spot in its image search results. Google decided against removing the image, but instead ran an advertisement next to the image that explained the company's policy on content removal.

Those of a sensitive nature should avoid visiting Scunthorpe, a northern English town. The people are wonderful, but the town welcome sign is as you would expect defaced often.

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