At the moment Facebook is rolling out tools to help combat fake news. Of course this fight isn’t all Facebook as other social media platforms and services also have a responsibility to prevent the spread of false information. Google would be a good example because who’s to say what’s being displayed in the search results is accurate?

So far for the most part you do get what you search for, but Google wants to cut down on search results that might be offensive, upsetting, or not true. Speaking to Search Engine Land, Google senior engineer Paul Haahr said, “We’re explicitly avoiding the term ‘fake news,’ because we think it is too vague. Demonstrably inaccurate information, however, we want to target.”

So what are they doing? Instead of relying solely on AI, Google actually employs about 10,000 quality raters contractors around the world that helps to evaluate search results. These quality raters will then rate the pages that appear at the top of the results to determine how good they are in terms of answering what the person has been searching for, and recently Google introduced what they are calling an “Upsetting-Offensive” content flag.

This is meant to flag search results that are deemed to promote hate speech, violence, contain racial slurs, offensive terminology, and so on. An example that Google gave was when searching for “holocaust history,” in which one result might link to a hate site that contains falsehoods about what happened, and the other to the History Channel.

The former should be flagged for being “Upsetting-Offensive” due to its inaccuracies, while the latter should not be flagged, even though the content/topic might still be upsetting, but it is still factually accurate.

Filed in General. Read more about Google.

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