In Google's latest move to suppress news which doesn't fit the company's worldview, the search engine is now enabling review teams to flag content they subjectively deem offensive or upsetting. The flagging will in turn affect search results, pushing content marked "upsetting-offensive" behind other content which Google deems more credible.
According to Fox 5, content which promotes "hate or violence against a specific group of people based on gender, race or other criteria" will be flagged by the company, as will "content with racial slurs."
By flagging content, Google will be able to rank "better" content higher, notes Fox 5. "This approach might, for instance, push down content that is inaccurate or has other questionable attributes, thereby giving prominence to trustworthy sources."
According to the latest set of Google guidelines, the company will unleash their "quality raters," who comprise their review teams, to search for and flag "web results that contain upsetting or offensive content from the perspective of users in your locale, even if the result satisfies the user intent."
Fox 5 reports:
The guidelines, which run 160 pages, are an interesting look into how Google ranks the quality of its search results. For instance, it gives examples of "high-quality" pages, such as the home page of a newspaper that has "won seven Pulitzer Prize awards," and "low-quality" pages, such as an article that includes "many grammar and punctuation errors."
The guidelines cite an example of "Holocaust history" as a search query. A resulting website listing "Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn't happen" would get flagged.
As reported by the Daily Wire during the 2016 presidential campaign, Google was accused of suppressing stories beneficial to then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as content critical of then-candidate Hillary Clinton.