Google has been consistently aiming to provide the best service when it comes to Google Search. It is definitely a challenge as with the billions of queries and vast amount of information found online. However, this company try to refine and provide highest quality results. And another step towards that is a recent improvement to done on their Search Algorithm. This aims to create a much safer online environment for its users.
A recent report posted by The New York Times claims that this vicious cycle has been ongoing for many years. Anonymous sites posting slanderous content towards individuals and organization, then taking advantage of its for their monetary gain. And this tech giant are improving ways on how to lessen that. Still, their company makes sure to balance maximum access of information for users while protecting people from harassment.
Reason Behind The Action
Online slander has been ongoing such as websites posting unverified complaints about sexual predators, scammers and the like. But not being 100% accurate. However, these anonymous websites are often located in the top Google Search results as you search names of a victim.
And as the cycle goes, these websites then charge these users as much as $700 and more to have each post removed. The Verge also added that these exploitative sites affect more victims as their routine is to just republish same slanderous content across different sites. And people, especially now, tend to use the internet as often due to staying at home or doing work from home set up making them more vulnerable to this problem.
Changes To Expect By Users
According to Google’s blog post, there are certain changes in the system that are currently being implemented. There are also more changes to expect in the next months to come.
However, Google implemented a policy that people can request removal of those pages that has information about them from their results. Instead of users needing to pay for an illegal use of their information, they are to request that directly to Google. Here are more information about the process in this link.
As a follow up to this concern, the same sites with unethical practices will be demoted in the Search rank for them to be in the lower end of the results. Making it less possible for people to access the said sites. With that, websites such as BadGirlReport.date and PredatorsAlert.us will then be removed from the list of results.
Another update from Google is the concept “known victim”. Here, users that report being a victim of these slanderous sites are considered as a “known victim”. Moreover, the company will suppress similar content when people look up for their names online. This new concept also applies to users affected with leaked nude photos, allowing them to request removal of explicit results.
These changes done by Google are a response from New York Times articles showing the effect that online harassment has on its victims. David Graff who is Google’s vice president for global policy and standards and trust and safety, also explained that “I doubt it will be a perfect solution, certainly not right off the bat. But I think it really should have a significant and positive impact. We can’t police the web, but we can be responsible citizens.”
This is definitely something that we can also be a part of. We can be responsible citizens and use internet wisely and for the benefit of everyone.