Google Shows Kannada As ‘Ugliest’ Language; Controversy Erupts, Search Engine Apologises



New Delhi: In the latest spat with Google, the Karnataka government warned of a legal notice to the tech leader, over a Google search in which Kannada appeared as an answer to a query on the ugliest language in India.

However, Google issued an apology after the search engine showed Kannada as the “ugliest language in India”, sparking outrage from various corners starting from political leaders and social media users hitting out at Google. The IT giant was quick enough to remove Kannada “as the ugliest language in India” and further apologised to the people saying the search result did not reflect its opinion.

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Karnataka Minister for Kannada, Culture, and Forest, Aravind Limbavali reacted strongly saying a legal notice would be served to Google for showing such an answer to that question. Later, the minister also took to Twitter to express his outrage and demanded an apology from Google to Kannada and Kannadigas.

Limbavali emphasised that the Kannada language has a history of its own, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago, and the language has been the pride of Kannadigas through the ages.

Showing Kannada in poor light “…is merely an attempt by Google to insult this pride of Kannadigas. I demand an apology from @Google ASAP to Kannada, Kannadigas. Legal action will be taken against Google for maligning the image of our beautiful language!” Limbavali tweeted.

As per the PTI report, a Google spokesperson said, “search isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, the way content is described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries.”

“We know this is not ideal, but we take swift corrective action when we are made aware of an issue and are continually working to improve our algorithms. Naturally, these are not reflective of the opinions of Google, and we apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments.”

Demanding to know why Google “behaves in an irresponsible manner” in terms of language, former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy also criticised Google in a series of tweets for the demeaning answer to the language question.


Other leaders including the BJP”s Bengaluru Central MP, P C Mohan also hit out at Google and asked for an apology. Sharing the screenshot of the search on his Twitter handle, Mohan said Karnataka is home to the great Vijayanagara empire and the 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.”

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