Google wants your help to tackle fake news

Google wants your help to tackle fake news

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.

Fake news has been a trending term among tech companies in recent months, and Google is taking a more proactive approach toward the issue.

To tackle fake news and hate speech and control Search results that show false, offensive or outrageous information about certain topics, Google has announced some major changes in its Search feature.

Google has introduced tools to allow users to directly give feedback on offensive, inappropriate or wrong autocomplete predictions, as well as information presented in the featured snippets.

The issue of fake news or what used to be known as political propaganda, came to the forefront during the presidential campaign in 2016, when it appears that the Russian government was working to help create and spread fake news in an effort to derail the campaign of Hillary Clinton. The new initiative includes tweaks to the algorithm used by Google to deliver search results while offering users more options to flag inappropriate content, including for "autocomplete", or the suggestions Google makes while someone is typing a search query.

Google relies upon their search algorithm in order to remain impartial.

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Will This Help Weed Out Fake News and Offensive Content from the Internet? A steady stream of examples began to cast doubt on the quality of Google search. However, even that figure can assume alarming proportions what with Google alone accounting for over a billion online searches every day.

That effort will be assisted by what Google calls Search Quality Raters, real people who assess the quality of Google's search results. These signals have been adjusted to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content. But fake news isn't just the purview of the Russians.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp are often blamed for the seemingly unstoppable influence of factually inaccurate "fake" news on a large, gullible section of the masses worldwide. Towards this end, Google has updated the How Search Works site.

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 next area they've addressed is Snippets, which are those information boxes that appear on top of a search results page. Google intends to use this feedback to improve its algorithms.

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