Google now tells you a famous person's sexual orientation

So, Google has a weird new thing going on: the search engine will now supply (for some people) the best guess as to their sexual orientation before even the top result when you start to search "Is [celebrity]." It's very flattering that the company understands and appreciates one of the top three reasons I use Google, but I find this exceptionally odd. So, Neil Patrick Harris shows up like this:

But Jodie Foster, who has never actually come out as a lesbian, shows up as this:

And Anderson Cooper, who has also never come out even though it's kind of silly at this point not to, because he clearly is and his whole "I can't because I'm a serious journalist" thing went out the window when he had Snooki on his talk show, comes up as this:

For the record, someone who has few homosexual rumors, like Jennifer Lopez, comes up as "Best guess for Jennifer Lopez Spouse is Marc Anthony, Cris Judd, Ojani Noa," which makes a ton of sense because she's divorced two and is currently divorcing the third. I understand what Google is doing here — it's simply aggregating the instances a celebrity has talked about their own sexual orientation, analyzing it, and presenting you with the logical conclusion at the top of its search results. The real question is: uh, why, exactly?

 

Tags Google

Commentarium (8 Comments)

Sep 29 11 - 12:49pm
jucope

The answer is: because that's the most common search request that people are doing on the celebrity in question. That's how Google Instant works. More people who type in Jodie Foster in Google follow those words with "gay" than any other word.

Sep 29 11 - 1:00pm
LL

Except that the most common search request for "is Anderson Cooper" also fills in the word gay. And yet he doesn't get the Google-gaydar treatment.

Sep 29 11 - 2:49pm
Roy Batty

Have to agree that the Jodie Foster thing is off.

Clearly it should have come out "Best guess is that Jodie Foster is a coward for not providing a role model for other young women and for has questionable scruples for directing a misogynist & being directed by an admitted child rapist"

Sep 29 11 - 3:05pm
joeo

Best guess -- Why? So stalkers have more info abot their prey.

Sep 29 11 - 3:56pm
Doofus

for some reason, "Jewish" is right up there with "gay" for people's celebrity queries.
Will Google install a hebrew-detector now?

Sep 29 11 - 8:39pm
M

It certainly works for Rick Santorum

Sep 29 11 - 10:52pm
Sadie

Jodie Foster kind of came when she thanked her partner at an awards show in 2007. Still, she has never openly talked about it. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2007/12/jodiefoster

Sep 30 11 - 1:59am
nope

Does it not have a 'bisexual' option? Are we still pretending that isn't a thing? Because Jodie Foster is probably bisexual.