Google will no longer treat “bisexual” as a bad word in its predictive search facility, bi visibility campaigners have declared.
A petition started more than two years ago on Change.org collected more than 15,000 signatures and at last Google have relented.
The block meant that whilst when users typed words like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ into the Google search page, it suggests what they might be looking for – gay dating, gay pride, gay marriage, gay support… but for ‘bisexual’, it made no suggestions.
That made it that bit harder for bis seeking advice and support to find what they’re looking for online – and to find out about groups like Manchester BiPhoria, Bisexual Underground or Brighton BothWays, events like BiCon and BiFest or publications like Bi Community News and the Bisexuality Report.
And it signals that ‘bisexual’ is a bad word – Google’s blocking settings are supposed to be there to prevent people accidentally seeing offensive or disturbing content.
The petition organisers posted today:
“Thanks to your signatures, many bisexual terms now autocomplete in Google searches!
“Bisex” will autocomplete to “bisexual” and “bisexual” autocompletes to longer terms like “bisexual flag.” We noticed this change a bit more than a year ago, but wanted to work with Google to make more change than the lifting of this ban, such as releasing a statement on lifting the ban, funding for bisexual research, giving staff a bi-specific training, or holding a bisexual awareness event. We hoped to make this victory even larger and while we did get a meeting with a Google staff member, we weren’t able to accomplish the stretch goals.
BUT, this petition did accomplish it’s goal and millions now have easier access to bi information online. Great work, everyone! 15,000 of us forced a huge corporation to change a policy and that is no small victory.
The petition was taken to events like Manchester Pride as BiMedia reported back in 2013.