Fake news is a big problem for Google, and it’s also a major issue for Facebook users as well. The challenge is how to deal with it. How can we teach an algorithm to sort fact from fiction? Project Owl is Google’s attempt at trying to hit fake news where it hurts.
Fake news spreads thanks to signals from friends and family. A friend or family member likes an article, or searches for a topic, and it becomes part of your bubble too. The new update aims to try and tackle the problem of search by addressing Google’s autocomplete feature.
How the Owl Works
When users enter a term into Google’s search engine, or Chrome search bar, a new form will allow them to offer feedback on the suggested terms. This way, if a suggested term is offensive or fake, users have more power to let Google know about it. It won’t remove the term from search immediately, but it does send a signal to Google that something is wrong or off.
Celebrity hoax deaths have become a popular Internet prank because they are easy to spread. Users just need to convince other users to search for a celebrity’s death enough, and the rumor spirals out of control. Autocomplete is trying to be helpful, but instead it’s contributing to a raging firestorm.
Now, the community will have more tools to police itself. It’s hoped that Google will be able to offer a much higher quality search experience.
Bio: Submit Express, founded by Pierre Zarokian in 1998, is dedicated to helping businesses achieve their best rankings online.