Google is Showing Results Against Its Own Algorithm by Showing Gun related Shoppable Suggestions

Google Shopping banned gun ads in 2012 and it is against the policies of the company to advertise about gun parts that can improve the weapon’s functionality. But the company is showing high-capacity drum magazines in its shoppable results.

When “.223 100rd” searched in Google, it shows the results of the same magazine that was used by the shooter at Dayton massacre. These results are displayed on the right side of the page and have links attached to them that leads to the shopping tab of the buyable products.

Maciej Ceglowski, developer of Pinboard informed through tweets about the failure of Google’s algorithm that was unable to block the results related to gun accessories. When ‘Ar 15 mod” is searched, Google does not display any result and it assumed that maybe because it has been filtered out manually. But when spellings are changed and “fifteen” instead of 15 is entered, the block or filter by Google becomes ineffective and thus displays ads and shoppable products related to weapons.

It is strictly against the policies of Google to show any ads related to any part of the gun or its component. Whereas, parts of the guns that are for the safety purpose, like trigger lock are allowed to be displayed on the screen.

Google was asked for comments on the issue to which it replied that they have strict policies regarding displaying gun ads. They immediately remove ads that break these rules and policies.

However, the company did not clarify the reason why the ads are appearing in results.


According to Ceglowski, Google’s search algorithm has been flawed in the past as well. As in February 2018, Ar-15 bump stocks were displayed by Google results as buyable shopping results. At that time, there had been shooting in one of the schools of Parkland, Florida.

At that time, the company labeled it as human error and then banned all results that were related to the ‘gun’ word. Like music group, Guns N’ Roses’ merchandises were banned, Sex Pistols and anime Gundam were also removed from the Google search results.

Google is now breaking its own policies and failed to provide the reason behind it. However, it is expected that it continues to stick to their policies that are in favor of the general public as well.


Photo: JHVEPhoto via Getty Images

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