Search engine giant Google is now accelerating its actions against a prominent but immoral industry that take advantage of its page ranking system: the slander industry.
After Times articles pointed out this vile cycle of cyberbullying and defamation, Google vowed to provide algorithm updates addressing this issue.
For years now, some websites exist collect explicit complaints lacking sufficient verification involving probable sexual predators, cheaters, and scammers.
Once vivid details are gathered, several posts are created and intended to rank high on Google searches. People’s information is exposed, and the perpetrators of the alleged shameful acts are asked thousands of dollars in exchange for the website to take the posts down.
The industry may have initially used a vigilante justice system as its façade. Still, the involvement of money extortion has become an alarming element that aggravates the degradation of the victims.
To sum it up, these websites, along with the middlemen involved, established a lucrative source of income by destroying the reputation of several people.
Times calls out harmful content that Google take for granted
When Times released the article focusing on the slander industry, Google had limited interventions in addressing the issue.
Removal of certain websites was based on black hat SEO strategies directed to manipulate search page results.
One notable incident occurred in 2004 in which several anti-Semitic websites emerged when the word “Jew” was typed in the search bar. Google was prompt to respond that they can do nothing much about it since the algorithm decides the page ranking.
The search engine giant remained firm with its decision to focus on the objective mechanism of its system.
However, as Times made an elaborate discussion on how these neglected content sources pose serious dangers in society, Google took small steps in improving its screening process.
Ultimately, the rise of misinformation and the “fake news” agenda also became a wake-up call for Google to increase its critical evaluation of the content.
Algorithmic updates will focus on phasing out the slander industry
As part of Google’s response to the alarming slander industry weaponizing the search pages, Google came up with the concept called “known victims.” The action banks on content suppression.
When people report websites charging money to remove specific posts, similar content across the search engine pages is censored, especially when their names are searched.
This automated action is not exclusive to victims of extortion. It also expands to people who have their nude photos published online without their consent.
In a statement released by David Graff, vice president for Google’s global policy and standards and trust and safety, he stressed that the solution might not be perfect. Still, it is a critical step that could generate positive results.
Neutrality shifts to online justice
For decades, Google has been known for its objectivity and automation in generating page ranks for websites.
The powerhouse company leading the online industries embraced neutrality. As a result, most of its algorithmic updates focused on weeding out practices that try to outsmart Google’s system.
Hence, Google’s actions to improve user safety and protection may come across as controversial since there will be inevitable bias along the way.