The issue was raised by writer and Twitter user Jason Pargin on Friday when he discovered searching Google Images with the seemingly innocuous term “desk ornament” leads to disturbing content.
Google users who search this specific phrase are shown rows of pictures not of standard desk ornaments, but instead Nazi memorabilia, Liverpool Echo reports.
Jason tweeted: “Question: Go to Google Image Search and look for “desk ornament.” Do you get a bunch of Nazi stuff as the top results?”
The tweet received thousands of likes and retweets with over 17,000 people responding to Jason’s question as users themselves checked to see if the innocent search provides the same outcome.
Many Twitter users who replied to the tweet said they were experiencing the same results and seeing Nazi memorabilia after just simply googling “desk ornament”.
Our own attempt at the image search also yielded the same imagery after the innocuous search.
However, this particular Google glitch seems to go back to 2016 when Twitter users were posting how a search for ‘desk ornament’ brought up the same abhorrent images of Nazi memorabilia – with users reporting the same issue six years ago.
The most likely hypothesis seems to be a lack of filtering in the search engine results or a circumvention of the algorithm to bring these visuals up to the top of the ranking.
Others urged users to inform Google of the issue as the tech company has the ability to remove images as well as for users to flag up concerns they may have.
Users can simply fill out the forms and can request to remove the image from Google Search – as the company regularly updates its search results for images and removes offensive or hatred content.
The search engine indicates in its regulations that content that is offensive or incites hatred is restricted or prohibited, depending on the circumstances.
Google has been approached for comment.