- Google Shopping has policies against allowing shoppers to search for firearms or other dangerous products.
- But, that means the shopping platform also doesn’t allow users to search for anything with “gun” in the search term, including “water gun,” “Guns N Roses,” and “Sex Pistols.”
- Google told Business Insider the company was “working to address this issue.”
Google is trying to crack down on people shopping for firearms on its website – with some bizarre results.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Google Shopping does not allow customers to search for “guns” in any form.
That means searches for things like “water guns” and “Guns N Roses” merchandise result in a notification that the search “did not match any shopping results.”
“Bubble guns,” “glue guns,” and “Sex Pistols” also did not produce results when Business Insider searched with those terms. Searches for things such as “gun cabinet,” “gun cleaning kit,” and “gun holsters” also did not produce results.
“We are experiencing an error in our Shopping results and we are working to address this issue,” a Google representative said in an email to Business Insider. The company said it is not making any changes to its Google Shopping policy.
People have taken to social media to poke fun at the search giant for the bizarre qualifications.
Google censored "gun" in the shopping page.
So you can't search for "gundam" or "guns n roses"
The name of the game: Find the exploit.
See how far the slippery slope can get.
— appabend (@appabend) February 27, 2018
Wow, the brilliant minds at Google have literally banned any shopping search results containing the word gun. Hope you guys don't like anime.
THANKS FOR KEEPING OUR STREETS SAFE MARK pic.twitter.com/9um7jF2GUW
— Vito Gesualdi (@VitoGesualdi) February 27, 2018
Google shopping now blocks all search queries with the English word "gun" in it, which can be something of an issue as you can imagine. pic.twitter.com/NL4V00y079
— Best Mom Eva (@mombot) February 27, 2018
Some of Google’s recent changes seem to already be in effect.
Some Twitter users took issue with searches for “Gundam” – an anime series – not yielding results on Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, the search results included action figures and other merchandise.
On Tuesday, The Telegraph reported that users couldn’t search for products with “gun” in the name, including Burgundy wine. A search by Business Insider on Tuesday afternoon revealed that Google had resolved the issue.
Google has been working to fix issues regarding what customers can and cannot buy via Google Shopping in recent months. Over the weekend, Google announced it was removing AR-15 bump stocks from Google Shopping results after customers complained.
“This was a mistake and should not have happened,” the company said in a tweet. “Due to a human error, a handful of Shopping results for bump stock appeared. We immediately removed those results as they violate our policy.”
The search engine has managed to fine tune how it treats searches for products such as bombs and poison.
Searching for “bombs,” for example, primarily results in Google Shopping listings for bath bombs. However, searching for “arsenic” can give shoppers the opportunity to purchase the poisonous chemical.