Google is updating its search algorithms to prevent sites from filling search results with unproven claims about individuals. According to for reports From The New York Times.
The changes come on the heels of a series of recent reports from the New York Times. The newspaper found a vast network of websites hosting unverified allegations of harm to individuals’ lives.
In addition, it has discovered that there is an entire industry of other services that promise to remove offensive content from search results for a large fee.
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The search giant is making a series of changes to its ratings to combat sites, which it said should have a significant and positive impact on those affected.
When users report that they have been a victim of these sites using the pre-existing process, Google records that person as a known victim, and automatically blocks results similar to that person’s name.
This represents an important shift given how these sites operate, as posts are routinely taken from one site and republished across more than a dozen others.
Google’s changes can help prevent these many posts from hindering search results.
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Google fights defamation sites:
The New York Times reported that removing the posts entirely would have cost about $20,000. The individual sites and services are said to charge upwards of $700 to remove each post.
Some changes have taken effect. More is coming in the coming months, but the paper reports that its own tests have highlighted initial problems with this approach.
Although, she says, posts have mostly disappeared for some users. It does indicate, however, that Google’s changes do not appear to have discovered a new defamatory site. who may not have received a certain number of complaints to put it under Google’s consideration.
However, the new process seems to work better with posts disappearing from the first page of text and image results.
The move represents the latest shift away from Google’s original self-proclaimed role as a neutral results provider.
The company said in 2004 that its results were generated objectively and are independent of the beliefs and preferences of its employees.
But over the years, that position has softened, particularly in light of legislation such as the EU’s Right to be forgotten.
This means that the company plays an increasingly important role across the web, exceeding 90 percent of its global searches today.
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