Google has been asked to explain why the word "gay" has been linked
to Premiership footballer Ashley Cole in internet search results by Lawyers acting for the Arsenal and England defender. Seemingly, typing his name into the search engine generates "See results for: ashley cole gay". Currently, the footballer is involved in legal action against the News of the World
and The Sun
over stories alleging bisexuality among Premiership players; Cole is not named directly, but the footballer is understood to be suing over the effect the stories have had in prompting many internet sites to hypothesize he is the person in the article.
Graham Shear, solicitor for Mr Cole, said that he is interested in the origin of Google’s decision to display the "gay" results alongside general searches for his client.
He said: "I am keen to find out whether the decision to automatically include the term ‘gay’ to the keyword ‘Ashley Cole’ was an editorial decision or one made by a computer based on the volume of searches for ‘Ashley Cole’ linked to the word ‘gay’."