Does anti-national mean HCU and JNU?

Anti-NationalWhat does Google understand about the word “anti-national?”

If we type the word anti-national in Google Maps, it immediately displays the image of entrance gate of JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Similarly, If we type the word “anti-national Hyderabad” it takes us to University of Hyderabad.

Sounds bizarre.. But it’s true!

Was it an impulsive and imprudent act by the search engine Google? Was it deliberately done or any valid technical reason is there? These are some of the pertinent questions that go viral now.

This goof in Google Maps comes in the wake of the recent Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy that led to the arrest of JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy. The moment we type in words like “anti-national”, “sedition” or “leftist” in Google Maps, and it will take you to Jawaharlal Nehru University.


But what is strange is the one about HCU. There were no reports of alleged anti-national activity, no meetings of that sort, no cases of sedition etc. The agitation and the alleged vandalism centred round the Rohit Vemula suicide case and the political activity thereafter. Why Google Maps showed HCU for anti-national Hyderabad? Perhaps, it might be due to linking of HCU and JNU agitations and also the ruckus in Parliament on both the issues, according to some experts.

Cyber experts are divided whether searching of one word in the content repeatedly on the net will make it into the images. “Unless it is specifically programmed, it will not be shown like that” felt an expert.

“The frequent use of terms like “anti-national” and “leftist” in reviews of the JNU location on Google Maps along with numerous news stories around the recent incidents at the university that had mention of these terms will automatically take us to such images. Google has nothing to with it” another expert opined.

Medaram Jathara

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