Why Google showed Kannada ‘ugliest’ language in India, reactions and more you need to know – Moneycontrol

Google issued clarification over the search result and said it is not always perfect.

Taking notice of the controversy, Google quickly removed Kannada

Taking notice of the controversy, Google quickly removed Kannada “as the ugliest language in India” and apologised to the people saying the search result did not reflect its opinion. (Representative image)

An outrage erupted against Google after a query in search engine giant on the “ugliest language in India” answered Kannada.

Soon after the query result circulated, people started expressing their indignation and political leaders began slamming Google. The Karnataka government said it would issue a legal notice to the tech leader.

Taking notice of the controversy, Google quickly removed Kannada “as the ugliest language in India” and apologised to the people saying the search result did not reflect its opinion.

What is the issue?

A screenshot recently surfaced showing that Kannada is the answer to a query in Google on “ugliest language in India”.

“What is the ugliest language in India? The answer is Kannada, a language spoken by around 40 million people in south India,” the Google result showed, as per the viral screenshot.

How did the controversy emerge?

A sharp reaction started pouring in from political leaders and netizens criticising Google for the search result and demanding its apology.

The Karnataka government said that it will take legal action against the tech giant over the issue. State minister for Kannada, Culture and Forest, Aravind Limbavali told reporters that a legal notice would be served to Google for showing such an answer to that question.

Later, he took to Twitter to express his outrage and demanded an apology from Google to Kannada and Kannadigas. Kannada language has a history of its own, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago, the minister said and added that the language has been the pride of Kannadigas through the ages.

Kannada language has a history of its own, having come into existence as many as 2,500 years ago! It has been the pride of Kannadigas all through these two-and-a-half millennia. 1/2#Kannada


— Aravind Limbavali (@ArvindLBJP) June 3, 2021

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.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan also reacted on the outrageous answer to the language question, saying “Kannada is not just a language. It’s an emotion for Kannadigas!” He urged Google to “respect the sentiments” of Kannadigas and rectify the search results.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy denounced Google in a series of tweets over the issue. He sought to know why Google “behaves in an irresponsible manner” in terms of language.

Others including the BJP’s Bengaluru Central MP, PC Mohan slammed Google and asked it to apologise. 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.

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

“Kannada had great scholars who wrote epics much before Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the 14th century,” said Mohan and asked Google to apologise.

How Twitterati reacted?

Netizens started posting in support of the Kannada language on social media platforms with hashtags “Kannada” and “KannadaQueenOfAllLanguages”.

To classify any language as ugly is distasteful. Listing Kannada as one is going too far. One more instance of blaming algorithm for inaccurate results. #queenoflanguages #Kannada #Proudkannadiga


— Smitha Mave (@smithamave) June 4, 2021


#Kannada is not just a language. It’s an emotion for #Kannadigas!#QueenOfAllLanguag

— Guru dhannure (@DhannureGuru) June 4, 2021


No Language can be ugly. Languages are a medium of human communication. All languages are beautiful in their own way. However those who categorise it as ugly are the ugliest minds.#KannadaQueenOfAllLanguages #Kannada #ugly #language


— Kokkachhi Paapachhi (@Sumant_G) June 4, 2021


Hey @Google & @GoogleIndia , #Kannada is #queenoflanguages , oldest, one of the most beautiful languages ever spoken

— Akshay Sridhar (@Asridhara) June 4, 2021


Strongly condemn the disrespectful comment on #Kannada. Outrage toward Google is fine but there should also be legal efforts to find the person behind the comment and the website.


— Fork In The Road (@yesh1thkumar) June 4, 2021

Google issues apology

Google issued a clarification over the search result and said it is not always perfect. “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,” Google India said.

pic.twitter.com/Uwj8edo9UP

— Google India (@GoogleIndia) June 3, 2021

Why Google search result showed Kannada as the ‘ugliest language of India’

Google is a fully automated search engine that uses software known as “web crawlers” that explore the web. When a user enters a query, Google’s Search algorithms sort through hundreds of billions of web pages that have related keywords and brings the result that it thinks is the best fit. This is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The same possibly happened with the query ‘ugliest language of India’.