‘Who Is Jesus?’ Google Home Couldn’t Answer and People Weren’t Happy
Anger over Google Home’s inability to answer questions about Jesus led the company to bar the device from answering questions about all religious figures, according to a statement released Friday.
Some users became angry when the smart speaker was unable to answer questions such as, “Who is Jesus?” but could respond to similar queries about Buddha, Muhammad and Satan, CNBC reports. Some unhappy social media users alleged that Google was “censoring” Jesus.
Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liason, tweeted a statement by way of explanation on Friday. “The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about ‘Who is Jesus’ or ‘Who is Jesus Christ’ wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect,” the statement reads. “Some of the Assistant’s spoken responses come from the web, and for certain topics, this content can be more vulnerable to vandalism and spam.”
Until the issue is fixed, according to the statement, all responses for questions about religious figures will be temporarily unavailable.
Google’s reliance on “featured snippets” — the pullout information that appears at the top of a page of search results — has gotten the company in hot water before. Inaccurate and offensive information can find its way into featured snippets, which has led Google’s smart products to repeat sometimes inflammatory comments.
Google Home is now responding to questions about religious figures with, “Religion can be complicated, and I am still learning,” users report.