Google Shopping service’s recent ban on ‘gun’ searches had an unexpected outcome. Wine lovers, Guns N’ Roses fans or simple mortals interested in buying water guns or nerf guns don’t seem to find the products in search results.
Google explained that the word ‘gun’ was removed completely from all search results of its popular service that enables users to compare prices. The move strangely backfired as non-gun-related words like “Burgundy” and “Gundam” have vanished as well.
Dozens of shoppers complained that they can no longer find Burgundy wine, glue guns, or Guns N’ Roses music on Google Shopping listings. Spud guns, water guns, nail guns, and even the Gunnersaurus dinosaur mascot of a well-known British soccer team were removed.
The default message for those items is “Your search did not match any shopping results.”
Google Shopping removed firearms listings in 2012, but since the recent Florida school shooting which killed 17 earlier this month other items have mysteriously vanished.
Google Is Looking Into the Issue
Disgruntled users took to social media to complain that they are no longer able to look for Burgundy wines on the service simply because it contains the string of letters ‘gun’. One user who tried to buy a Guns N’ Roses CD voiced discontent that he wasn’t able to purchase good music either.
The word ‘gun’ is still searchable on Google’s main page. A spokesperson for the tech giant said enginners were looking into the issue, and products that are not related to real guns but contain the word should be back soon in the Shopping search results.
Google also unveiled that it had set in place a “strict policy” about the sales of guns worldwide, which may explain the mishap. According to the policy, Google Shopping doesn’t allow retailers to sell or advertise “products that cause damage, harm, or injury.” Google has also banned BB guns, paintball, pepper spray, firecrackers, and combat knives on its service.
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