This story has been updated to reflect the removal of Donald Trump's image from the search result.
Google’s search function is once again in the spotlight for connecting Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.
Typing “When was Hitler born” into the search engine Friday generated some of the expected information on the Nazi dictator, but also a Donald Trump image and link. Trump’s image appeared alongside that of Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, and Charlie Chaplin, who famously satirized the Nazi leader in his 1940 movie “The Great Dictator.”
The unusual search result caught the attention and sparked debate on the online forum Reddit, and has spread across the internet. Google told FoxNews.com that it was looking into why Trump’s image would appear alongside Hitler’s. The search giant subsequently removed the image of Trump from the search result.
Google said that the image will be removed from the search result until it can clarify why it appears.
Some Trump critics have compared the presumptive Republican presidential candidate to Hitler, which could be influencing Google’s search algorithms. And there’s certainly no shortage of Trump references online. A “Trump Hitler” Google search Friday generated 25.7 million results. A “Trump Clinton” search, meanwhile, returned 199 million results.
This is not the first time the search engine has connected the two men. In December, The Pulse 2016 reported Google showed Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in response to an image search for Trump’s book “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.”
The Trump-Hitler issue is the second controversy involving Google search this week. Google’s autocomplete function, which offers potential searches to users based on the topic they type into the engine, was questioned in a report released Thursday for allegedly favoring presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
In a video posted to YouTube, the pop culture website SourceFed said the search engine generated less critical autocomplete results than Yahoo! and Bing for similar Hillary Clinton-related searches. Typing “Hillary Clinton cri,” into Google, for example, generates the autocomplete results “crime reform,” “crisis” and “crime bill 1994,” whereas autocomplete results on Yahoo! and Bing generate phrases that are much more critical.
Google has denied any autocomplete bias. "Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause,” the company said in a statement emailed to FoxNews.com. “Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works. Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person's name.” The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm adds that, more generally, its autocomplete predictions are produced based on a number of factors, including the popularity of search terms.
In a blog post Friday Google explained that autocomplete "isn’t an exact science," noting that the output of the prediction algorithms changes frequently. "Predictions are produced based on a number of factors including the popularity and freshness of search terms," it added. "Given that search activity varies, the terms that appears in Autocomplete for you may change over time."
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