tiptrot.com June 26, 2017

Google tackles 'fake news' with improved Search ranking, direct feedback tools, more

26 April 2017, 08:49 | Gerardo Harmon

Google is updating its search to demote fake news


Over the last few months, Google, along with Facebook and other digital platforms, has struggled to keep hoaxes and "fake news" stories from appearing in search.

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". Google also will task 10,000 of its employees with monitoring results and flagging sites purporting propaganda, conspiracy theories and downright lies.

Google also has reprogrammed a popular feature to omit derogatory suggestions from its automated recommendations of search requests. Gomes used this as an example of the type of search result the changes are meant to bury. Hopefully this doesn't just present a new vector for further rank manipulation in autocomplete, though.

Google announced on Tuesday that it is tweaking its search engine to scuttle misleading or false content, a major move for the company and the world considering Google's dominance in search. With these changes users should see less in the way of so-called "fake news" and other non-factual content (excluding searches for that material), and more accurate and relevant information pertaining to their search.

The search engine's parent company, Alphabet Inc., announced its plans to change a fundamental component of its algorithm that previously allowed false information to be sent straight to the top of its results pages.

Holocaust denial has been a particularly hard result for Google to deal with.

GoogleGoogle also says it is improving the guidelines its human workers use to evaluate content that appears in search results.

Additionally, Google is launching direct feedback tools that will allow users to flag erroneous Featured Snippets and Autocomplete predictions.

Google's Featured Snippets evolved as quick synopses of the answers users were searching for, such as when the Leaning Tower of Piza was built. In addition to this extra transparency, Mr. Gomes and Google believe making feedback tools easier to find for the rest of the general public could expand the effectiveness of this human curation effort.

What Google's feedback will look like for autosuggested searches.

Users can report suggestions for being hateful, explicit or violent.

From Facebook to Wikipedia, internet organizations are focusing efforts more than ever before to crack down on fake news - poor-quality web content that typically spreads through misleading, often offensive headlines.

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