'Project Owl' to tackle fake news, hate speech on Google search

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Fake news, hate speech on Google search
Fake news, hate speech on Google search

San Francisco : To tackle fake news and hate speech and control Search results that show false, offensive or outrageous information about certain topics, Google has announced some major changes in its Search feature.

The Google update, codenamed "Project Owl," gives consumers two new ways to report what they perceive as problems in the Search results. 

The company is also using teams of humans as part of an effort to get its algorithms to show more reliable information, Fortune reported on Tuesday.

The biggest change that the company did was with Google's auto-complete function where the search engine suggests options to complete your query. 

"With longer-term effort in mind, today, we are taking the next step toward continuing to surface more high-quality content from the web. This includes improvements in Search ranking, easier ways for people to provide direct feedback and greater transparency around how Search works," Google wrote in a post. 

Google has incorporated a way by users can tell the company to tell Google if you encounter something wrong or objectionable. The tool now comes with little line that says 'report inappropriate predictions'.

If a user clicks on the line, a box pops up that lets the user tell Google that the predictions are hateful or violent and so on. 

The other way is telling that if the information boxes contain inaccurate information, users can tell the company to respond whether the information was helpful or they have some problem with it.

The third big change coming to Google is the search engine will start giving more weight to "more authoritative" information. 

"We combine hundreds of signals to determine which results we show for a given query-from the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search queries appear on the page," Google wrote.

"We have adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results that we saw back in December are less likely to appear," the company added.

The changes will be rolled out gradually, the company said.