Update: Google has removed the image from the Knowledge Panel. Rather than replacing it with a non-nude image, they went with no image at all. The image in question is also gone from the image search results (though it’s still there if you search “angel tompkins topless”). There are other topless pictures of her showing up further down in the image results as well.
Update 2: Google has removed more of the topless pictures from the image search results.
Is Google’s system for imagery in the Knowledge Graph flawed? Let us know what you think.
When you search for “Angel Tompkins” on Google, Google presents a Knowledge Graph result. That makes sense, she’s a Golden Globe-nominated actress. What is interesting about Google’s listing, however, is that the image it displays is photo of Tompkins topless – not the kind of material you would expect the search engine to display to users as the main thing you see on a results page.
Search Engine Land was tipped about the result on Twitter, and as Barry Schwartz notes, this is probably not the ideal web presence for the now 70-year old woman, who is reportedly married with two children (it should be noted that Google’s Knowledge Graph has gotten marriages wrong in the past).
Here’s what it looks like censored. You can go to the SERP to see the real thing if you like (though Google will likely pull it soon).
Google will often display a set of images from Image Search in the Knowledge Panel for a given query. Here’s what Clint Eastwood’s looks like, for example:
It’s unclear how exactly Google chooses which pictures to display, or when to include the Eastwood-like set of images in the Knowledge Panel. The first Eastwood picture in the panel is not the first one that shows up in an image search, nor is the topless photo of Tompkins the first one in an image search for her. So why is Google selecting this one? To make things even more complicated, Schwartz notes that the nude image appears to be coming from a spam blog – something Google rigorously tries to keep out of its search results. Now we’re seeing one being highlighted in Google’s prized Knowledge Graph?
It is worth noting that Tompkins has been described as a “Sexploitation Siren,” so users wanting nude pictures of her isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility.
This is not the first time we’ve seen Google make mistakes in the Knowledge Graph. Have you noticed any? Let us know in the comments.