Google cleans up search to fight fake news

Ken Copeland
Апреля 27, 2017

Though that might be subjective to a great extent, the human operators won't actually be able to change anything, merely make suggestions that the algorithm can pick up on. With Google's new feedback tools (see image above), users can now report any offensive, inaccurate or otherwise improperly featured snippets or autocomplete suggestions straight from the results page. Sections were recently added to the guidelines regarding offensive and misleading content, which we covered last month. That approach is vastly different from the company's search feature that relies on machine learning and algorithms. Thus, the first and foremost change involves improvements to the search ranking algorithms.

The moves follow months after criticism of Google and Facebook Inc. for hosting misleading information, particular tied to the 2016 USA presidential election. "While our search results will never be flawless, we're as committed as always to preserving your trust and to ensuring our products continue to be useful for everyone". It doesn't want to be caught in another hubbub surrounding the content being displayed in the results.

Facebook, which also received blowback for its slow response to mitigate the sharing of fake news and propaganda throughout the American election, now provides similar tools to publishers and users to identify and flag fake news. "The most high-profile of these issues is the phenomenon of "fake news", where content on the web has contributed to the spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive, or downright false information", vice-president of engineering at Google's search division, Ben Gomes, said. In addition, it also addresses the growing problem of offensive content related to hate and violence, which has started to affect Alphabet's advertiser base.

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Understandably so! After all, Google, Bing, and other major search engines are often the vehicle for propagandist and mischievous elements in the society to push their agenda into the browsers of unsuspecting users. The top results surfaced by the search engine were misleading and only questioned the events that define history. Moreover, the company has made changes to its search signals that will also bring up more accurate content in its results.

These under the hood changes to the search engine are being complemented with some feature introductions on the surface as well. "These feedbacks would be helpful to us in improving our algorithms", Gomes added.

Starting April 25, Google has made it much easier for people to directly flag content that appears in both Autocomplete predictions and Featured Snippets.

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