Google blocks autocomplete for searches that suggest election results


Alphabet Inc. chief executive Sundar Pichai said in gestures during a discussion on artificial intelligence at the Bruegel European Economic Think Tank in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, January 20, 2020. Pichai urged the US and the European Union to coordinate. Regulatory approaches on artificial intelligence point to their alignment as important.

Jarrett Vandon Winzangert | Bloomberg Getty Images

Google said it would remove autocomplete predictions on Thursday that “could be interpreted as claims for any candidate or political party.” It will also remove statements about the methods of voting and the status of polling places as well as the validity of elections, including the security of elections.

Google autocompletion recommends based on searches that users are typing in the search box on the Chrome browser or Google.com.

“We want to be very careful about those types of predictions,” Google’s senior director of trust and security David Graff told reporters in a press call ahead of the announcement on Thursday. “In this election, people will have a strong opinion, and given the background of Kovid-19, change with the election should be more conservative in terms of questions.”

The policy update comes as Google, among other firms such as Facebook and Twitter, prepares for a heated presidential election, trying to cut down on misinformation.

The company gave examples of phrases that would prevent such a prediction, which would say “donate to any party or candidate, or predictions like” you can vote by phone “as well as” you can by phone Can’t vote ”

“It’s quite unprecedented – especially the scale of information challenges with Kovid,” said Kathy Edwards, vice president of engineering at Google. “We do not want a policy change on election day,” he said. “It’s a goal for us, definitely.”

The company said it has an “Intelligence Desk”, a global team of analysts who monitor news events 24 hours a day. The same desk is monitoring claims for COVID therapies. Google has said that the group will keep a close watch on election day.

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