With the 2020 presidential election approaching, Google’s autocomplete proposals “could be interpreted as claims for or against a candidate or political party” are imminent. said in a blog post Thursday.
While you can still search for what you want, phrases related to the electoral process or specific candidates and parties are no longer auto-filled. This includes all information about voting methods, requirements or whether a voting location is open or not. For example, Google said it would remove predictions such as “You can vote by phone” and “You cannot vote by phone” as well as predictions that suggest users are donating to a party or candidate.
This policy update will leave the vast majority of Google autocomplete proposals “completely untouched,” according to Google’s search quality team leader Pandu Nayak, one of several senior companies who outlined the changes at an online press conference Thursday . David Graff, Google’s senior director of global guidelines and standards, described the move as an extension of Google’s existing standards and “less of an entirely new policy or philosophical approach.”
“We want to be very careful about the type of information that we highlight in the search function because of its importance. Given the concerns about elections and election information, we want to be particularly conservative here, ”he said. Graff added that with elections in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many people are inevitably looking online for guidance on how and where to vote, making access to reliable, non-biased information more important than ever.
Google also announced on Thursday the development of its “Intelligence Desk,” a global team of analysts tasked with monitoring news around the clock and reporting misinformation campaigns. The company will also expand its fact-checking labels to Google Images (previously only shown in Google searches and the News tab), as well as updating its security programs to better identify vandalism on Wikipedia pages and prevent inaccurate information Knowledge boards are displayed on Google.
Google’s policy update comes at a time when several tech giants and social media platforms are trying to curb misinformation online as viral conspiracy theories emerge virtually daily, some of which originate from ourselves Commander in chief.