Google has hired more than 10,000 independent contractors — so-called ‘quality raters’ — to verify website credibility, monitor illegal images and force only high-quality websites to the top of their search results.
The ‘quality raters’ have a new tool in their arsenal which can be used to ban hateful, false or even upsetting information out of the search results page.
The Mountain View, California based company wants its raters to apply an “Upsetting-Offensive” flag to any pages that promotes either hate or violence against a group of people. Likewise, the flag can be applied to websites which provide ‘how-to’ information about crime or include slurs and/or graphic violence. Local raters have the authority flag other content that would be considered offensive in their particular region.
‘Quality raters’ themselves cannot independently modify Google’s guarded search algorithms. Instead, they must provide the data that they have discovered to Google’s developers. The coders, in turn, will implement logic to ‘teach’ the offensive content to the algorithm. The offensive results would still be accessible, but only with a custom query specifically intended to find them.
The use of ‘quality raters’ is Google’s latest response undertaken to battle fake news, racism and hate speech in the wake of the 2016 U.S. elections. In the United Kingdom, the government, retailers, such as Sainsbury, and the Guardian newspaper, have cancelled their advertisements in Google’s ad services last Friday after certain ads appeared next to inflammatory and offensive videos.