Search for ‘anti national’, ‘sedition’ and Google Maps takes you to JNU.

If you type in the words ‘sedition’ or ‘anti-national’ on Google search, do not be surprised if you receive a map suggestion that leads you to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.


The story of JNU and the term ‘anti-national’ began when JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and other students like Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were present at an event at the campus on February 9 where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. Kanhaiya Kumar and two other JNU students were last month arrested for sedition and jailed. All three were given bail earlier this month  as videos proving this were found to be doctored., on separate days.

With the flood of articles around the Kanhaiya Kumar  on the internet, keywords like JNU, anti-national and sedition have been associated to the university on the web. Google’s algorithms crawl websites to optimise search queries. Thus, as more articles and text appear on the web comprising of the words JNU, sedition and anti-national, the algorithm throws up all related results when someone looks.
“On the face of it, it looks offensive. We will contact Google authorities and find out why and how such a thing can happen. There would be some technical issues involved but we need to find out why is JNU being shown in the map for location search of anti-national,” said Shehla Rashid Shora, vice-president, JNUSU.

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