As protests and riots swept the nation following the death of George Floyd in May, Google searches for ‘Black Lives Matter’ spiked a hundredfold. Given that these protests have resulted in multiple deaths, widespread looting, and the burning down of parts of several major urban centers, one would expect that a search for ‘Black Lives Matter’ would bring up some criticism of the movement.
Yet this is not so. As of Wednesday afternoon, keying ‘BLM’ into Google’s search bar returns only two suggested results: ‘BLM Israel’ and ‘BLM issues’. Entering ‘Black Lives Matter is’ likewise gives two answers: ‘Black lives matter is not a design challenge,’ and ‘Black lives matter is a revolutionary peace movement.’
Google’s rivals show a different set of results. DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, shows a range of positive and negative results, from ‘blm is peaceful’ to ‘blm is a cancer.’ Yahoo offers an even more negative list, including ‘blm is a terrorist organization’ and ‘blm is a hate group.’