In the future, Google will better protect search results from fraud and fake news

Google’s search results are to be better protected against false information in the future. (Photo: Shutterstock)

No time right now?

Especially in the knowledge panel and in the news area, Google wants to carry out stricter quality controls in the future. Among other things, the Bert update should help.

Google continues to work to improve the quality of its search results. As a result, the search engine has now some innovations presentedmainly affecting Google News, the Knowledge Panel and Autocomplete.

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Better fact check for Google News thanks to Bert

In October 2019, Google began rolling out the Bert update. With the help of a concept from computational linguistics, Google has since been able to better understand the context of the words searched for and thus the search query. The concept should now help to compare available fact checks with news. This enables Google to better understand whether an existing fact check is related to the central theme of a story. In the “Complete Reporting” area, fact check labels will be presented more prominently in the future.

Bert update: 5 examples of improved Google search

In addition, according to its own information, Google has improved the identification of breaking news. Instead of up to 40 minutes after the publication of news, as was previously the case, breaking news should now be recognized as such within a few minutes.

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Less misinformation in the knowledge panel

In many cases, the content in the knowledge panel, which is displayed when searching for known people, for example, comes from Wikipedia. If changes are made to the Wikipedia entries used and, for example, incorrect information is inserted, this can also affect the display in the knowledge panel. In addition to the security measures implemented by Wikipedia itself, Google has set up detection systems to detect such manipulations. According to Google, the systems have been improved so that they now recognize 99 percent of such cases.

More sensitive autocomplete function

In the past, Google has already worked on improving the autocomplete function to rule out inappropriate predictions. These guidelines have now been expanded to include additions relating to elections. This is to avoid completions that can be interpreted as approval or rejection of specific candidates or parties. For example, when searching for “donations for …”, no specific candidate is suggested. In Germany, this function has also been the subject of legal disputes several times in the past because the system had suggested defamatory terms for completing search queries. However, autocomplete has no effect on the search results displayed. With material from the dpa.

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