The company said that it apologised for “any offence this may have caused”. Its teams are working to fix the problem, it said, and Google itself does not appear to have had any role in adding the racist searches.
Google’s mapping tools pick through the huge amounts of search data that it has to help ensure that results are up to date. But by intentionally confusing that system, users can add their own results.
Users can also set up businesses and then change the address so that they will show up wherever they want. It’s unclear whether either of those workarounds were used to plant the White House results, or whether it was done using other means.