Google Now Targets Hateful and Offensive Results with New Algorithms


Google has recently released a new set of guidelines for quality raters. The new guidelines specially target web pages that are not only inaccurate but also offensive, hateful and upsetting. The document, available online, is meant for helping quality raters in spotting and flagging such pages in the Google search results.


Paul Haahr, who has been a lead search engineer for 15 years at Google, mentioned that the search giant has been working to develop algorithms that can track web pages which are abusive and disrespectful.

According to Haahr, such content affect only 0.1% of the search queries but it is still an important issue nonetheless. In fact, the percentage comes as a surprise considering the publicity that is given to such results in the media. On the other hand, more and more sites are now being launched that are exclusively dedicated to the propagation of false information, hate speech and other kinds of offensive and inaccurate content.

Haahr mentioned that there are certainly users who are specifically looking for inaccurate or hateful content. For example, there are many who enjoy satire content and sites. There are also those who search for hateful content for research purposes and the like. Google does not aim to stop people from search content which they specifically want. To ensure that this is the case, the guidelines give detailed examples and instructions on how the affected pages should be rated by the quality raters.

The job of quality raters is to ensure that the work being done by the engineers is reflected in the search results. The quality rates do not have the power or the ability to remove the search results or modify the rankings of the site. They can only rate the search results as per the guidelines provided. This is the data provided to the engineers of Google for implementation into the algorithms.


The fact is that internet behemoths such as Google and Facebook among others have come under increased pressure to take steps against the rising tide of offensive and inaccurate content among others. This has only increased since the recent elections in the US. Certain steps have certainly been taken such as the development of fact-checking schema to be used for news stories. Google has already removed several classes of inaccurate and offensive results. Google is at the forefront of such developments, having working on rectifying the issues for quite some time.

The aim of Google has always been to provide the most relevant and insightful content through their search results. For this, they keep working on their algorithms. That is also the reason why the guidelines were updated. This way, they can test and check if the search results are reflecting the changes made to the algorithms. If Google finds that the changes have not been implemented, the data gathered by the quality raters will be given to the engineers who will then proceed to implement the necessary changes.