Google banned American users from looking for firearms after the shooting in Parkland. We tell you how the service in the world censored or changed search results after scandals and tragedies, and remind you why not everyone trusts Google.
Why don’t you like Google?
Google has repeatedly been accused of bias search engine. In February 2017, the competition Commission in India (CCI) fined the company $ 21.17 million for using the search engine to dishonestly promote its own resources and partner organizations. In 2017, Google received a fine of $2.7 billion for the same from the European Commission.
In the spring of 2015, Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the International Institute of computer science suspected Google of gender discrimination. It turned out that the company gives men targeted advertising with offers of jobs with higher wages.
In November 2016, the researchers of the service CanIRank.com found that the search engine Google prefers links to “neutral” and “liberal” resources. In December 2015, scientists at the University of Maryland found that when searching for us presidential candidates, Google produces more results with democratic candidates than with Republicans.
News organization SourceFed said that Google hides negative tips when asked about Hillary Clinton and does not hide in the case of requests for Donald Trump. The company itself denied the accusations and said that the search works by “machine algorithms that take into account hundreds of factors.” Google believes that the results of the search engine “reflect the content and information available on the Internet.”
People trust search engines more than journalists. The search engines at the same time trying to avoid accusations of bias
In addition to bias, Google is accused of spreading false information. In July 2017, the American Alliance of news media asked the us Congress to give the opportunity to conduct collective negotiations with Google and Facebook. The services were accused of “founding a digital duopoly” in the segment of Internet advertising and reducing the quality standards of news and distribution of fakes.
According to Eidelman, 63% of us residents trust search engines as a source of news and information. For comparison, only 44% of respondents trust journalists.
How did Google remove information from search engines and other services?
In December 2016, Google turned off auto-suggestion when searching for the word “Holocaust”. The reason was the charges by the newspaper The Guardian. It turns out that if you start typing ” did the hol “in the search box, the first prompt will pop up “did the holocaust happened” (“did the Holocaust really happen?”). In the US, Google turned off Holocaust auto-tales, but not in Europe.
Google search engine gave one of the first links to the site with Holocaust denial
In August 2017, Google-owned YouTube video service began to reduce the popularity of “controversial” videos. Their content does not violate the rules of the site, but it can be considered religious propaganda or propaganda of racial and ethnic superiority. For example, such video will not be able to comment or like. What kind of video in question, Google did not specify. At the same time, Google, among others, deprived the hosting site of American neo-Nazis The Daily Stormer: Tom eventually had to move to the darknet.
In July 2015, the Google Photos app automatically tagged two black users as “gorillas.” The company apologized. In January 2018, Wired journalists discovered that the company did not alter the algorithm, but simply banned Google Photos from tagging images with the names of monkeys — and, therefore, they can not be found — so that the program again accidentally marked one of them with people with dark skin color.
In January 2018, Google banned its voice assistant Google Assistant from answering religious questions. The company explained this by the fact that the voice assistant voices the results of the search, and there may contain spam and insults. To avoid awkward situations, Google has decided to disable the Assistant to talk about Jesus, Buddha — in General to answer any religious questions.
After the shooting at the school of the American city of Parkland (Florida) Google Shopping service has ceased to produce search results for any queries containing the word “gun” in English (gun) and its synonyms in the United States. At the same time, the ban on extradition also affected goods not related to weapons, such as songs by Sex Pistols and gun’s Roses. Even Google Shopping has removed the is a semi-automatic rifle AR-15: it a Nicholas Cruz was shot 17 people in Parkland.