Michelle Obama 'racist' monkey picture reappears online
A caricature of Michelle Obama as a chimpanzee has reappeared prominently on the internet despite efforts to remove it.
The photograph of the American First Lady with her features crudely morphed with those of a chimp first provoked controversy in November.
It emerged that it was the first result presented on Google when users typed "Michelle Obama" into the popular picture search engine.
The US internet giant refused to withdraw the image , citing its commitment to free expression.
Instead, it ran an advert next to the picture which explained how its search engine works and conceded that sometimes the results could be "offensive".
However, the image was eventually withdrawn by Hot Girls , a blog on which it was appearing.
Google had actually withdrawn the image from a previous website but only because the site was spreading malicious software.
A Google spokesman warned when the picture was removed by Hot Girls that the image could reappear in its listings if another blog posted it.
This has occurred with the picture now sourced to a blog purportedly written by an American college student and aspiring talk show host called Bernard Charles.
Writing as bernieluvsellen, the blogger said he believed the image should be protected under "freedom of expression". It was unclear whether he was aware that he had propelled it back to the top of Google's image search.
Google handles nearly two thirds of all internet searches in the US and uses a complex algorithm to decide which web pages should come up first when a user makes a search.
Before the Michelle Obama picture reappeared prominently, an internet search expert had suggested that Google had "tweaked" its algorithm after finding a bug in the system.