As Google Fills In Blank, a German Cries Foul

In an earlier, more innocent era, the shocking rumors about the past of a former first lady of Germany would have stayed put in the drawing rooms of the political elite. Nowadays, they appear unbidden on Google.

Say a schoolchild writing a homework assignment about Bettina Wulff entered her name into the search engine. “Bettina Wulff prostitute,” Google’s autocomplete function would helpfully but perhaps slanderously suggest. “Bettina Wulff escort” would pop up for good measure.

“I was stunned,” Ms. Wulff, who vehemently denied the accusations, told the weekly newsmagazine Stern, one of several publications to feature her on the cover in recent weeks. “I felt powerless and cried a lot.”

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Note: Story posted because I am sure there are many librarians that have experienced the oddities of Google auto-complete.

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