Well well well….looky here. Google is now facing some accusations after being repeatedly caught sharing conspiracy theories and false information through its “featured snippets in search”.
This is a feature that automatically pulls in short answers arranged together by common queries from several popular websites. It also has the ability to show the search results directly, and the basis for the quick answers provided through Google’s smart speaker device, which is the Google Home.
And here's what happens if you ask Google Home "is Obama planning a coup?" pic.twitter.com/MzmZqGOOal
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) March 5, 2017
What happens is when it works, it directs the user to the search engine to answer questions like “who is the richest man in the world” and it does not require the user to click a further link.
However, when it doesn’t, it pulls from sites sharing fake news, propaganda and much worse. This results in the Google Home reading the same statements that are gives as “facts” without the presence of the other search results, which would help the user conclude that the answer might be misleading.
Now the device does let the user know who the originating website is, so if they are familiar with ‘fake’ news sites…they could come to their own conclusion but, it’s still very deceiving….and purposeful.
Which is what is basically the problem we are facing right now. Twisted truths, lies, deceitful placing of non-facts in fact looking platforms… it’s all geared towards misleading us into being unaware of what is really going on.
I cannot help but think that these days…without the use of discernment, it is nearly impossible to get down to the actual truth of things.
Over the weekend, asking Google, or the Google Home,
“Is Obama planning a coup” would pull in a quick answer from a site called Secrets of the Fed which stated: “According to details exposed in Western Centre for Journalism’s exclusive video, not only could Obama be in bed with the communist Chinese, but Obama may in fact be planning a communist coup d’état at the end of his term in 2016!”
So what do you think? Do you know right from wrong? Truth from lie when reading that?
Should Google be held accountable for being so careless with their answers?