First Image for Jesus in Google Images is Offensive

Jan 20, 2010 • 9:13 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

If you search for [Jesus] in Google Images you may notice that the first image has a picture of Jesus smoking a cigaret, with a can of beer in his hand. Here is a picture of the search result:

Jesus on Google - Offensive

A searcher complained about this at the Google Web Search Help forums yesterday. So far, there has been no reply by anyone, including a Googler.

I doubt Google will remove the image result. These types of issues come up fairly frequently. The latest one was when Michelle Obama's image was racist and Google did not remove it, but rather bought an ad explaining why the result was not removed. So I doubt Google will make changes to this image result.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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01/20/2010 02:30 pm

I wouldn't stress too much - Jesus is quite capable of looking out for himself ;)


01/20/2010 06:32 pm

Offensive is like beauty, it's all in the eye of the beholder. For each person that says its offensive, I can find one that says its not.

Jessica Eballar

01/20/2010 09:42 pm

Some things should be considered sacred. You can't control the Internet, but when it comes to relevant results for a single keyword such as "Jesus" I think a degree of reverence and respect is expected in the "relevant" results. It's too bad how the organic results has this as first. It probably says something about our online society.

Melissa Fach

01/20/2010 09:50 pm

I completely agree with Jessica. I also doubt google will do anything. It is offensive to me.


01/20/2010 09:59 pm

Hey Jessica... I agree with you. We have to show a degree of reverence and respect for Jesus, Allah, Budha, Thor, Apollo, Zeus, The Great Moon Mother, Big Foot, Flying Spaguetti Monster, Superman and Bugs Bunny. The organic results are about what the internet IS, not about what you want it to be. I don't want to be disrespectful, but i'm an atheist and Jesus is just a myth like Big Foot to me... it's all about the point of view.

SEO Mofo

01/20/2010 10:07 pm

Google only censors results when refusal to do so might threaten their pocketbooks.


01/21/2010 01:41 pm

All offensiveness aside, I see this as Google serving poor search results. If someone is looking for a picture of Jesus, I highly doubt that person is expecting a beer can and cigarette in hand. To me, a simple query for "Jesus" would result in a traditional depiction, not something I would get if I queried a phrase like "funny Jesus picture." I have no problem with the photo being available in search results, but it seems to showcase a flaw in Google's algorithm.

Optimised Onion

01/21/2010 03:04 pm

Christians have no rights. We have no right to be offended. We have the right to be laughed at, scorned, hated, just as Jesus was when he walked earth (although, granted, none of that is nice). I cannot understand why christians get offended about this. good point by GK though.


01/22/2010 06:31 pm

I agree with most of the comments. In response to VaBeachKevin, you must be twisted to think that Jesus with a beer and cigarette in hand would be "beautiful". And, if you couldn't tell, the the majority of people who are offended are Christians, and rightfully so.

April Carpenter

01/23/2011 06:01 am

that is just play wrong

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