Google Changes Photo of Gun-Toting Bridal Party

Google Changes Photo of Gun-Toting Bridal Party
State Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry, New Hampshire appears in a wedding photograph with his wife and bridal party carrying long guns in 2013. It was being pulled into a Knowledge Box on Google search pages for his town. photo from unionleader.comweb photo

Some folks in the town of Londonderry, New Hampshire have been upset that the Google Knowledge Box for their town (that’s the box of quick facts that pops up on the right side of a Google search page) was pulling in a wedding photo of state Rep. Al Baldasaro in which he’s standing with a bridal party, all of whom are holding rifles and shotguns.

Google recently changed the default photo after the monster corporation was notified by town attorney Michael Ramsdell, according to this story from unionleader.com.

"I have not heard from Google, but it is my understanding that the photograph has been removed," said Ramsdell, who asked Google's legal team last month to replace the photo. It was removed from the Knowledge Box sometime Tuesday. leaving only a map of the town, the report says, after a story about the matter appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader and got attention on social media.

“It appears that the remarkable feature of the photograph is the four women in the wedding party holding long guns,” Ramsdell wrote to Google’s attorney. “It is the town council’s understanding that detractors of Rep. Baldasaro have popularized the photograph with the hope that it would be deemed sufficiently embarrassing to help defeat Rep. Baldasaro in the Nov. 2016 election.”

Baldasaro, who is often one of the highest vote-getters in the town during state elections, posted on Twitter, “My wife emailed (Google) last night asking them to take it down.”

He said Monday in the story that he was unaware that his wedding photo from 2013 served as the default photo when searching for Londonderry and acknowledged that it shouldn't be representing the town in such a way.

“He said the photograph was his wife’s idea, and at the time it was originally posted on social media four years ago created turmoil for his family.”

“Baldasaro said he was also not aware that the town’s legal counsel reached out to Google last month asking that the photograph be removed and replaced with something more picturesque and charming that represents the community.”

The story says it is unclear how the photo became associated by Google with the town. Knowledge Panel photos are based on the number of hits and the algorithm of the search engine.