Why does Google shows images of actresses when you search for 'South Indian Masala'?
In a world where safety of women is a matter of grave concern, search engine giant Google is adding up to this similar concern with its strange search results.
In a strange observation made by a bunch of people on Twitter, when you type 'South Indian Masala' in the search option, apparently the images of South Indian actresses appear in the search results leading to the objectification of women. And on the other hand, when you type 'North Indian masala' on Google images, you get the obvious results. A picture of butter chicken, chaat masala, and various spices.
Such differences in search options have raised multiple facets to the issue, some have taken it in a light mood making it a social media joke, while others are outraged with audacious sexism and some are launching questions asking why Google is showing 'South Indian actresses' when 'South Indian masala'is searched for.
Difference between South Indian Masala and North Indian Masala..— Z.N.M.D. (@mars_4you) July 7, 2017
As per Google .. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/EXglCZAtWl
To know the North-South divide, google images for 'North Indian masala' and then google images for 'South Indian masala'.— Numbyaar (@NumbYaar) July 6, 2017
So why is Google showing this?
The problem lies with Goole's algorithm, apparently when you type a keyword on Google images, it shows up photos that have meta tags as that particular keyword. Here it means, thousands of people have uploaded images of South Indian actresses with 'masala' as a tag.
Yes this technical error must be looked for, but what is alraming is the mindset of the society that tag the word 'masala' with women.
Now one must be wondering why a similar problem does not occur with searches for 'North Indian Masala'. This is because in North India, women are objectified with words like maal, item etc due to Google does not get confused with and correctly show spices used in North Indian dishes like butter chicke, rajma chawal and more.
A spokesperson from Google told to Huffington Post, "Search isn't always perfect. Sometimes, the way images are described on the Internet can yield surprising results to specific queries".
In a statement, Google said that they are aware that this is not an ideal situation, but they are working to improve their algorithms.