ADVERTISEMENT
About Our People Legal Stuff
Google logo.jpg

Holocaust-denial web sites got dropped from Google searches after an algorithm tweak

0

Last week, the top result of a Google search for "did the Holocaust happen" would be an article from the white supremacist group Stormfront that denies the Holocaust ever happened.

After initially opting not to remove the article from its search results, Google changed its mind Monday, Digital Trends reports. The first result for that same question now is a news story about Google changing its algorithm. Meanwhile, Holocaust-denying sites appear to have been removed altogether from Google results.

An important part of our values as a company is that we don't edit the search results.
Sergey Brin, 2008

A decade ago, Google was much less active in its search result manipulation. Founder Sergey Brin said in a 2008 interview that he thought it was more important that its search results were unbiased.  

The almighty algorithm still rules

Google insisted its algorithm still determines search results. The recent fix is the result of altering the algorithm to consider Holocaust-denial sites as "non-authoritative," a spokesperson told Digital Trends.

In other words, rather than outright deleting Stormfront and similar web sites from its search results, Google changed its rules so Stormfront couldn't game the system for the top spot.

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Google is trying to make it easier for you to manage the vast pool of information that it collects about your online activities across phones, computers and other devices. \(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. Google is trying to make it easier for you to manage the vast pool of information that it collects about your online activities across phones, computers and other devices. \(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Google has been under fire lately for similar controversial search results, tied to the spread of fake news. The Guardian found hate groups dominated results for questions like "are Jews evil," "are women evil," and "are Muslims bad."

We'll continue to change our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges.
Google spokesperson, to Digital Trends

The mathematical formula is still not perfect -- searching "are Muslims evil" still results in lots of Islamophobic sites. And searching "are black people inferior" leads to a racist article in the top slot.

Should Google alter its search results to block hate groups?

Comments
Read Comments
Comments
ADVERTISEMENT
Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linked In List Menu Enlarge Gallery Info Menu Close Angle Down Angle Up Angle Left Angle Right Grid Grid Play Align Left Search Youtube Mail Mail Angle Down Bookmark