Misinformation is so common after mass shootings that Google has had to tweak its algorithm to compensate, a senior search engineer at the company has revealed.
Pandu Nayak, who joined the company 14 years ago to work on its search engine, told the Guardian that mass murders presented an increasing challenge for the search engine to deliver accurate results.
“In these last few years, there’s been a tragic increase in shootings,” Nayak said. “And it turns out that during these shootings, in the fog of events that are unfolding, a lot of misinformation can arise in various ways.
“And so to address that we have developed algorithms that recognise that a bad event is taking place and that we should increase our notions of ‘authority’, increase the weight of ‘authority’ in our ranking so that we surface high quality content rather than misinformation in this critical time here.”