Google Introduces New Search Tools to Combat Fake News

Google is updating its search to demote fake news

Google is making serious efforts to filter fake news, which the company says is the "most high profile" issue when it comes to people trying to game the search ranking system.

"Fake News" is a common term now-a-days for general public.

The search engine is changing the way that its core algorithm work in order to help weed out fake news and hate speech, according to a blog post on April 25th. Google also will task 10,000 of its employees with monitoring results and flagging sites purporting propaganda, conspiracy theories and downright lies.

The new update aims to prioritise authoritative content over low-quality content.

The new feedback tools work in Google's autocomplete feature, which is when the search engine tries to anticipate what you're going to ask and makes it part of the suggestions while you're typing.

In a blog post today, Google said that about 0.25 percent of the search results in its daily traffic were coming up with what it called "offensive or clearly misleading content, which is not what people are looking for".

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As the vice president for Google's engineering division for search, Ben Gomes puts it, it's unlikely for fake news to ever disappear on the internet.

The first step it has taken is to update its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which offers examples of low-quality webpages that Google's real-life "raters" use as a resource to decide which websites should be downgraded in search. Google executives claimed the type of web pages categorized in this bucket are relatively small, which is a reason why the search giant hadn't addressed the issue before. The fact that Google's algorithm keeps throwing up misleading or fake content is deeply concerning. Google has committed to not censoring the search results. These signals have been adjusted to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content.

But doing nothing to combat fake news would probably have caused even bigger headaches. Closer home, fake news in the form of WhatsApp messages, social media articles have polarised voters who were manipulated into believing something that wasn't necessarily factually correct. The company seeks to bring some wisdom back into areas where it is highly needed.

Deliberately misleading information, as well as outright fabrications, plagued the 2016 US presidential primary season and election. Finally, Google is adding more information on the technology behind its Search features on its website.

"That feedback is then used to reshape the algorithms - the recipes, if you will -that Google uses".

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