Search engine Google has changed its Algorithms after discovering that users using search terms related to the Holocaust or ethnic minorities were being pointed to hate sites.
The new algorithms are said to prioritise high-quality information, bumping down sites associated with racial hate speech, and to remove anti-Semitic auto-fill queries.
In the past, Google has shown reluctance to change its algorithms in the past, preferring to prioritize whatever pages generated the most online sharing and discussion. But it discovered that hate groups were manipulating the algorithms to amplify misinformation and hate speech.
Auto-fill suggestions to complete the search query “are Jews” included “are Jews evil?” Also, the top search for “did the Holocaust happen” linked to a page by Stormfront, an infamous white supremacist group, and searches related to various ethnic minorities would often bring up other sites espousing racist views.
A spokesGoogle said that judging which pages on the web best answer a query is a challenging problem and it did not always get it right.
“We recently made improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web. We’ll continue to change our algorithms over time to tackle these challenges.”
The algorithm now takes the browser away from Stormfront and replaces it with the United States Holocaust Museum. However, the white supremacist group still holds the number one spot in the Google search engine.
All this is caused by the sudden increase in hate speech and the glut of fake news. A Pew Research poll, four out of ten Americans now get news online, underscoring the influence such sites can yield.