What you need to know
- Google is making some changes to autocomplete with Search.
- It will no longer fill in results for some election-related queries.
- Results will still show up if a search is manually completed, however.
Google is making some changes to Search in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Now, it will remove search autocomplete terms that can appear when typing in certain search terms.
Google's Pandu Nayak, Vice President of Search explained why in a post this week:
Google Search's autocomplete, a feature that's useful more often than not, can also be gamed into indirectly spreading falsehoods by surfacing artificially boosted search terms — especially when it comes to conspiracy theories around the electoral process.
Explaining some more of the rationale behind the change, David Graff, Google's senior director of global policy and standards said (via CNN):
Google isn't the only company trying to squash the spread of misinformation as November draws closer. Other firms like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc have been attempting to do so as well. Facebook launched electoral fact-checking labels, while Twitter banned all political ads on its platform.
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