Safari suggested search results include a holocaust denial website, a Pizzagate conspiracy video, along with an anti-vaccination site…
Safari’s Siri Suggested Websites search results aren’t exactly the most on-point. While “relevant,” they’ve been recommending a plethora of low-quality and conspiracy theory-laden websites. Siri Suggested results offer Safari users surface websites directly, rather than loading a list of links. The browser highlights its suggestions at the top of the search bar.
Apple’s Safari Suggested Search Results Promote Conspiracies
But, according to recent news reports, those recommendations are way out of the mainstream. In fact, they’re downright false or misleading, at best. One such example brings up a holocaust denial site. For instance, searching the term “the holocaust didn’t happen” causes Siri to direct user to a conspiracy site. Meanwhile, searching for “Pizzagate” triggers Siri to load a YouTube conspiracy video created by David Seaman. (Seaman’s YouTube channel was suspended back in February of this year for violating the platform’s terms of service.)
What’s noteworthy here is Apple relies on Google for its search results. Formerly, Safari relied on Bing but that partnership ended in 2017. However, comparing the above search terms between Siri and Google yields surprising results. Siri actively promoted the conspiracies but Google does not. Instead, Google listed credible sources which debunk the crazy theories.
Such behavior strongly suggests Siri’s internal algorithms and human curation team (although quite tiny) are the culprits. Safari users have the ability to disable suggestions by going into Safari’s Preferences, selecting Search, and disabling “Include Safari Suggestions.”