Google Outlines New Efforts to Combat Misinformation Around the US Midterms

As the midterm in the United States approaches, Google outlined today how it is trying to help connect Search and YouTube users with reliable poll information and combat misinformation and manipulation efforts on its platforms.

First of all, Google is adding new guidelines on election information within its electoral information Google Search Results to help connect voters with accurate information.

Google in the medium term

As explained by Google:

“In the coming weeks, when people search for ‘how to vote’ in both English and Spanish, they will find election information panels from Democracy works, a non-partisan, nonprofit data provider that works directly with state election administrators to aggregate information on how they can vote in their state, along with key dates and deadlines, and guidance for options such as voting early, in person or by mail. The information panels will also link to official state government websites, which provide additional information. “

This will ensure that people can access accurate and up-to-date information on their local polls whenever they need it, which could help dispel disinformation and / or voter manipulation efforts.

Google is also rolling out a new localized news coverage feature to help readers discover local and regional news from each state so they can better understand the election coverage of the races they care about most.

Google in the medium term

On YouTube, users will now be offered updated search results for medium-term queries, with YouTube’s systems more prominently recommending content from authoritative national and local news sources, including PBS NewsHour, The Wall Street Journal, Univision, and local affiliates of ABC, CBS and NBC.

“This same approach applies to the videos in the ‘see next’ panels. Working in tandem, our systems are also limiting the spread of harmful election misinformation by identifying borderline content and preventing it from being widely recommended.

For searches specifically related to voting, a new information panel will direct users to Google’s “how to vote” and “how to register to vote” features.

Google in the medium term

YouTube also adds new information panels on candidate profiles and videos, which will do so present key information, including their political party and the position they are running for.

Google in the medium term

On election day, YouTube will also be on display timely information on election results below the videos and at the top of midterm search results.

Google in the medium term

As you can see here, the alerts will also link to Google’s election results feature, where people will be able to monitor the official election results in real time.

In addition to this, Google will also increase its efforts to remove election misinformation and crack down on emerging threats, while also launching a new digital literacy campaign, which will share tips on how to identify the different types of manipulation tactics used to spread disinformation. .

It’s a never-ending battle, with malicious actors changing their tactics in response to each platform update, but with digital platforms now playing a key role in spreading news and information, it’s important that all platforms try to do everything. everything possible to address these threats and ensure a fair and impartial civic process.

Of course, such efforts will also be attacked by critics, who will argue that these reference resources are also partial, which negates the whole operation. But Google is working with recognized and approved third-party organizations to maximize their efforts, which should help resolve issues before they can have a major impact.

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