Google Employs New Method To Combat Fake News And Offensive Content

Lynne Hanson
April 27, 2017

The changes announced today reflects Google's confidence in a new screening system created to reduce the chances that its influential search engine will highlight untrue stories about people and events, a phenomenon commonly referred to as "fake news". To help prevent the spread of offensive or clearly misleading content that has been known to surface in a small subset of queries, Google has improved its evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates that surface more authoritative content.

Gomes continues by pointing out that Google search needs additional structural changes to have a long-term, impactful effect in the battle against fake news and otherwise bad results. 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. Now, quality raters can use more detailed tags meant to target pages that intentionally produce misleading information.

Besides taking steps to block fake news from appearing in its search results, Google also has reprogrammed a popular feature that automatically tries to predict what a person is looking for as a search request as being typed.

But until now it hasn't offered a comprehensive answer to its challenges with fake news, such as the recent finding that a top result on Google search for "Did the Holocaust happen" linked to a neo-Nazi site. Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering at Google, promises that such results "are less likely to appear" in the future.

The Alphabet Inc. company is making a rare, sweeping change to the algorithm behind its powerful search engine to demote misleading, false and offensive articles online.

Deliberately misleading information, as well as outright fabrications, plagued the 2016 US presidential primary season and election.

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At the time of the election, psychologist Robert Epstein generated a report that says Google was making changes in the search bar predictions related to Hillary Clinton to get rid of the negative terms that appeared.

Google is now focusing to improve the quality of Search.

It also said it would refine its search engine to "surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content".

For the first time Google is revealing some of the changes it's made to reign in fake news.

These individuals provide Google with feedback about the various experiments it conducts to better search quality.

By now you're familiar with the problem of fake news. (We've reached out to Google, but representatives didn't immediately respond.) Will Google's algorithms take over, or will an actual human make the call?

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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