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Google adds tool to flag 'offensive' search results

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  • Google adds tool to flag 'offensive' search results

    NEW YORK (AP) — Google is trying to improve the quality of its search results by directing review teams to flag content that might come across as upsetting or offensive.

    With the change, content with racial slurs could now get flagged under a new category called "upsetting-offensive." So could content that promotes hate or violence against a specific group of people based on gender, race or other criteria.

    While flagging something doesn't directly affect the search results themselves, it's used to tweak the company's software so that better content ranks higher. This approach might, for instance, push down content that is inaccurate or has other questionable attributes, thereby giving prominence to trustworthy sources.

    Source: Google adds tool to flag 'offensive' search results - Story | WNYW

  • #2
    I regret that I can only like this but once.

    I think this is "about time". Unfortunately some may look at this as censorship. My thought is, if you want google to capture audiences you will abide by quality content.

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    • #3
      I am concerned about which standard "offense" may be held to. For example, which wins? A religious based organization that professes Scripture on the topic of homosexuality or the LGBT~Q Activists? Wanna bet that special interests will be a factor (Google)?

      I'd rather see an individualized custom filter put into place where the end user can take control of their own searches.

      God bless,
      William

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      • #4
        Originally posted by William View Post
        I am concerned about which standard "offense" may be held to. For example, which wins? A religious based organization that professes Scripture on the topic of homosexuality or the LGBT~Q Activists? Wanna bet that special interests will be a factor (Google)
        Well, there is that too, which is true.

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        • #5
          And this technique couldn't be abused at all, could it? After all it isn't as though groups of people have ever got together to concertely downvote, report, or make false copyright claims about content they don't like, sometimes as a form of harrassment. Except that of course, this does happen, and it is a major problem online. When two groups views legitimately disagree, who's view wins? When a group of teens decide to shut someone down for Lulz, how are their review teams going to tell false reports from true ones?

          Identifying trustworthy sources should not be about liking what someone says, it should be about accuracy, reliability, and fact. It's just hard to set up something that manages this, so they'll take the easy, easily abused, route instead.
          

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          • #6
            The problem with this is who defines what is offensive and what is not offensive. Someone that is against rights for gay individuals may start marking LGBT content as offensive whilst someone that is for the rights of the LGBT community will mark certain articles as offensive thus taking away the idea of free speech. This is a good tool to quickly mark search results that contain racist content or content that is illegal like child pornography etc. but I feel like it could potentially be abused.

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            • #7
              This is a very good development by Google, it will go a long way to check webmasters who just churn out misleading or malicious information. I think this action by Google is long over due. Too many jargons have been floating online that need flag down.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by William View Post
                I am concerned about which standard "offense" may be held to. For example, which wins? A religious based organization that professes Scripture on the topic of homosexuality or the LGBT~Q Activists? Wanna bet that special interests will be a factor (Google)?

                I'd rather see an individualized custom filter put into place where the end user can take control of their own searches.

                God bless,
                William
                We already know the answer to that. Any conservative view is "offensive" to the Left, and Google isn't exactly a Conservative company. Conservatives are being silenced, and that began with "political correctness".

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                • #9
                  Hopefully Google will recruit some people to do a quality evaluation of the reports based on standards (set by Google with whatever means it has, e.g. survey) and not leave reports hanging like YouTube does. The thing with Youtube is that people may falsely flag certain videos knowing that the system will take down a video if it reaches a certain amount of flaggings, with the sole purpose of either harassing a channel or censoring opinions that don't agree to their own. Other times this system flaw is used as a version of an internet attack to interfere with the profits that popular channels generate from views, which used to be a trend a few months back. If more than 3 videos are taken down, the channel locked and all proceeds from the views are frozen.

                  I'll pick a wild guess and say that the report system Google is putting to place will also be used in a similar way unless they put a human to check the reports. For example during elections, people of one particular side might spam-report the campaign adds of the opposing party to sabotage their campaign. Or similarly a company could sabotage the e-marketing of its competitors, etc.

                  There's a small solution, where Google could give us the option to choose what kind of add content we don't wish to see, e.g. nudity, or weight loss adds, etc, but on the level of our browser, not what's available to the whole world.

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