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Google issues new guidelines to help search algorithm better spot offensive results

The quality raters now have a new Upsetting-Offensive flag to mark inappropriate search results.

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As news becomes social media and social media becomes news, there have been alarming instances of false information leading to utter chaos. In order to crackdown on false and offensive content showing up in search results, Google updated its guidelines that aims to ensure the algorithms are more efficient in spotting incorrect or information. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Google Doodle wishes dads with cute pop-up greeting card

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Google will now use data generated from Google s human quality raters to teach its search algorithm to spot offensive and false information better. There are over 10,000 contractors that Google uses worldwide to evaluate search results. These quality raters use set guidelines to mark particular content as low or high quality based on accuracy and usefulness. This, in turn, is aimed at helping the company improve its search algorithm. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends

These quality raters now have access to a new Upsetting-Offensive flag which will determine which content is misleading or inappropriate. Google explains in its updated guidelines that the flag should be used by raters for specific content which include content that promotes hate or violence against race, gender, etc., content with racial slurs, graphic violence, child abuse, explicit how-to information, and other types of content which users in the locale find upsetting or offensive. ALSO READ: Google, Facebook dominate digital ads in 2017: Report

However, if a result is flagged upsetting or offensive, it would now necessarily hurt its ratings. If a quality rater marks a particular result as low quality, it will not cause that page to plunge in rankings. The data produced instead serves as the training data for human coders to further improve the search algorithms. Going forward, the algorithms will then be able to flag off content on their own and in turn, might impact the rankings of low-quality pages as well.

As a report on Search Engine Land notes, the new flag will not be essentially censoring or hiding anything. Given that all kinds of curious minds hover the cursor for information, which may also include upsetting topics, Google s updated guidelines do not intend to ignore that. Such queries are categorized on Needs Met rating scale and informational, factually correct results are shown. ALSO READ: Facebook, Google and Apple missing from legal battle against Trump s new travel ban order

Google has been reportedly already testing the new guidelines with a subset of its quality raters and used the data as part of a ranking change back in December. We will see how some of this works out. I ll be honest. We re learning as we go, said Paul Haahr, one of Google s senior engineers who is involved with search quality. The idea is to learn and improve search algorithm over time and tackle fake news and problematic results.

BONUS VIDEO: Google CEO Sundar Pichai on his interview process at Google in 2004

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  • Published Date: March 16, 2017 5:13 PM IST



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