As disturbing as it sounds, one of the most popular searches for the month of December was, “Did the Holocaust really happen?” The query would pull in results such as, “Top 10 Reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen” and “Holocaust Hoax: It Never Happened.” While there are photographs all over the Internet, books written about the Holocaust, museums dedicated to the Holocaust, and survivors who speak all over the world about the Holocaust, search results showed otherwise.
In mid-December, Google was involved in a fake news debate when it was reported that top search results pages showed content that denied the Holocaust happening. The pages would lead users to hate-filled, extremists sites. Reports also showed that search queries with certain keywords would auto-fill to hate-filled results.
To correct this problem, Google will be making improvements on its RankBrain algorithm to prioritize high-quality and accurate information. Even though Google is built around being a content provider and not a media company, it is working on improving its algorithm to provide content and auto-fill queries that do not broadcast hateful speech and inaccuracies in search results. Sites and auto-fill queries with racial and anti-Semitic hate speech will be bumped down in rankings by Google so they aren’t appearing at the top of search results, but rather on the next few pages on Google.