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Google alters results for people searching the word ‘Holocaust’

Google has altered results for people searching the Holocaust after stinging criticism that it led them to neo-Nazi and denial websites. 

The top result for people who searched ‘Did the Holocaust happen’? was an article by white supremacist site Stormfront entitled: ’10 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen’. 

Google has now moved this article so it no long appears first in the US and UK. 

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Google has altered results for people searching the Holocaust after stinging criticism that it led them to neo-Nazi and denial websites

It is also working to refine its algorithm to weed out ‘non-authoritative’ information. 

Google said its aim is to provide ‘authoritative results’ for search queries while offering ‘a breadth of diverse content from a variety of sources.’

A statement read: ‘Judging which pages on the web best answer a query is a challenging problem and we don’t always get it right.’ 

‘When non-authoritative information ranks too high in our search results, we develop scalable, automated approaches to fix the problems, rather than manually removing these one-by-one.’

Google added that recent tweaks to its algorithm ‘will help surface more high quality, credible content’ and that the tech giant will ‘continue to change our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges.’

A spokesman told Forbes: ‘We are saddened to see that hate organizations still exist. The fact that hate sites appear in Search results does not mean that Google endorses these views.’

‘We do not remove content from our search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content, malware and violations of our webmaster guidelines.’

The search results were first reported by The Guardian earlier this month and led to stinging criticism of google.

The top result for people who searched ‘Did the Holocaust happen’? was an article by white supremacist site Stormfront (pictured)

Danny Sullivan, the editor of SearchEngineLand, a leading expert on Google search said at the time: ‘Something has gone terribly wrong with Google’s algorithm’.

The Holocaust search glitch is just the latest in a series of issues for which Google has faced scrutiny for its search algorithms.

Last month, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai – responding to complaints about fake news related to the US election – said the company receives billions of queries daily and admitted errors had been made.

‘There have been a couple of incidences where it has been pointed out and we didn’t get it right.

‘And so it is a learning moment for us and we will definitely work to fix it,’ he said in a BBC interview last month.

Pichai said there should be ‘no situation where fake news gets distributed’ and committed to making improvements.

‘I don’t think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely,’ he said.

Google, which is world’s leading search engine, and Facebook, where many people get news, have responded to criticism by pledging to cut off advertising revenues to hoax websites along with other steps to weed out misinformation.

Auschwitz camp where many of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust were sent

 


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