Google Play appears to confuse Mickey Mouse with gay erotica

If you search for "Where's My Mickey" on Google Play, you get a fine selection of ads for books that are less than mousey.

Oh, Mickey. Screenshot by CNET

Google makes all but four cents of its money from advertising.

Its systems are so sophisticated that, if only governments would bow to them, they could sell policies to the right people at the right time (and at the right price) for perfect social harmony.

And yet there are moments when Google's machines overexert themselves to the point of embarrassment.

One such instance appears to occur when you search for "Where's My Mickey" on Google Play.

This app, according to Google Play, "introduces a whole new world of life-like physics-based gameplay."

Please bear those words in mind and let me also tell you that the app offers "mechanics" that are "stimulating."

You see, Google's intelligence seems to have worked slightly overtime with the ads that accompany searches for this app.

For all along the bottom of the search page, there are ads for books about very handsome male bodies attempting what might be a different level of stimulating mechanics.

All authored by Mickey Erlach, they are examples of what is officially termed "gay erotica," which is not an area I thought Mickey Mouse regularly bathed in.

Google's algorithms have occasionally stepped into difficult territories. There was a moment last year when typing "sell" into Google Finance brought you Apple's stock chart .

I have contacted Google to see whether this is a case of algorithmic gymnastics or whether there is a mischievous mouse somewhere in the company's midst. I'll let you know what I discover should Google get back to me.

It could well be that the app description, perhaps along with the author's first name, is triggering certain associations that make for uncomfortable bedfellows.

I can imagine, though, that there's a parent out there somewhere who's had to answer a difficult question or two along the lines of, "Daddy, is that man Mickey's older brother?" Or, "What's a buff boy?"

 

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