Following outrage over a Google search result that listed Kannada as India's "ugliest language," the Karnataka government said on Thursday that it will take legal action against the Internet giant. Google will be notified, according to Kannada & Culture Minister Aravind Limbavali.
Kannada was revealed as the answer to a Google search for "ugliest language in India," with screenshots widely shared by people. The Google answer came from a website that has been widely reported by users. After receiving substantial criticism, Google changed the search results at about 3 p.m.
"The Kannada language has a long and illustrious history, going all the way back over 2,500 years! For over two and a half millennia, Kannadigas have been proud of it. If Kannada is now named the ugliest language in India, it is only an attempt by Google to disrespect this pride of Kannadigas, "Limbavali said in a tweet.
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Limbavali said in a statement that he had instructed the Kannada and Culture Secretary to consult the legal department and issue a warning to Google. However, Google stated that the way material is described on the Internet can occasionally produce "surprising responses to certain queries."
"Searching isn't always ideal. The way content is described on the Internet can sometimes produce unexpected results for a specific search. We recognize that this isn't ideal, but we act quickly to address any issues that arise, and we're always working to improve our algorithms. Naturally, these do not reflect Google's views, and we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused," said a Google spokesperson.
HD Kumaraswamy, a former chief minister, and leader of the JD (S), questioned why Google was indifferent to languages. "Is it impossible for Google to foresee such anti-language sentiment?" he wondered.
Noting that the webpage from which the search result was derived had been removed, Kumaraswamy enquired as to what relief Kannadigas had received. "Google's blunder is not acceptable."
Home to the great Vijayanagara Empire, #Kannada language has a rich heritage, a glorious legacy and a unique culture. One of the world’s oldest languages Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics much before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century. Apologise @GoogleIndia. pic.twitter.com/Xie927D0mf— P C Mohan (@PCMohanMP) June 3, 2021