Google ropes in user feedback to help battle fake news

Google ropes in user feedback to help battle fake news

Gomes explained how Google has long worked to prevent attempts to game the news search ranking system and has worked to keep search results as authoritative and accurate as possible.

The examples were pretty unsettling, including Holocaust denials, a claim that President Barack Obama was running for a third term, and a wide range of other conspiracy theories.

Google is changing the way its core search engine works to help stop the spread of fake news and hate speech.

The fial piece to Google's fake news eradication programme is to make it easier for anyone to flag content as unexpected, inaccurate or offensive from both autocomplete predictions and featured snippets, which will also be used to update the company's search algorithm. While those people don't affect search results in real time, they do provide feedback on whether the changes to the algorithms are working, Gomes wrote.

Danny Sullivan, founder of the Search Engine Land news site, said the changes made sense and should not be taken to suggest that Google's algorithms were failing to correctly index what they found online. They also involve heavily biased contents that the search engine, Google, is trying hard to stop.

More news: Sonakshi Sinha gets into Twitter battle with Armaan Malik

Interestingly, to counter the epidemic of fake news and inappropriate content, the Mountain View, California-based search giant will be resorting to manual monitoring (read: human assistance). Google has already started using these guidelines in its algorithms in demoting such low-quality content and plans to incorporate measures that are more stringent, in future. Back in December, for instance, the top search result Google displayed when searching "did the Holocaust really happen?" was from a white supremacist website.

It also said it would refine its search engine to "surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content". And if the boxes contain erroneous information users can directly tell the company to give feedback about the usefulness of the information. But fake news isn't just the purview of the Russians.

Although it also sells ads on its other services and independently owned websites, Google still makes most of its money from the marketing links posted alongside its search results. In such a scenario, it is important for the gatekeepers like Google and Facebook to provide effective checks against such false news circulating and misleading the public. Google is adding a feature to allow searchers online to flag these instances with a feedback form.

Google jumps into the fray with this announcement saying that now it would offer more options to users for flagging content that it deems inappropriate.

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