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Google Apologizes for Defining “Jew” As Bargaining “With Someone In a Miserly or Petty Way”

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December 27, 2022
The Google headquarters on September 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google issued an apology for temporarily defining the word “jew” as a way to “bargain with someone in a miserly or petty way.”

Fox News reported that a Google search described the origins of the word as a “reference to old stereotypes associating Jewish people with trading and moneylending.” That definition was the top search result until 1 am EST on December 27, according to Fox.

Various Twitter users excoriated Google over the offensive definition. Stop Antisemitism tweeted that the definition was “unacceptable,” but did give Google credit for “appropriately” revising the definition.

“Seriously @Google? There were no other verbs you could have used? Why promote antisemitic tropes?” tweeted human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, who heads the International Legal Forum.

Siamak Kordestani, West Coast Director of the European Leadership Network, tweeted to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, “In 2021 you reassigned (instead of firing) your head of diversity strategy who said Jews have an ‘insatiable appetite for war.’ Until a few minutes ago, the following bigoted definition of ‘Jew’ appeared as your first search result. Why?”

 

Former New York Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who heads the Americans Against Antisemitism watchdog, tweeted: “.@Google has some serious explaining to do about how it ended up presenting an antisemitic “definition” of a Jew! There’s NO good excuse for such an org to casually feature Jew-hatred in its search results! We demand accountability! New verb: ‘Google’ – to indulge in Jew-hate.”

Google’s search liaison tweeted “our apologies” about the offensive definition. “Google licenses definitions from third-party dictionary experts. We only display offensive definitions by default if they are the main meaning of a term,” the tweet read. “As this is not the case here, we have blocked this & passed along feedback to the partner for further review.”

 

This article has been updated.

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