Autocomplete search suggestions have long been criticized, especially leading up to big elections, but there’s a really big change coming…
As the US elections draw nigh, every bit of misleading or out-of-context information can cause confusion. One such example — that’s been the subject of much criticism in the past — is Google’s autocomplete prediction. There’s been plenty of anecdotal evidence of autocomplete suggesting all kinds of disturbing things. So, Google is taking an extraordinary step of removing all misleading election-related autocompletes.
Google Removing Election-Related Autocomplete Search Suggestions
Google’s announcement mostly centers around its core policies of protections against hateful and inappropriate predictions, which are automatic. But, the company does admit that its systems aren’t perfect or even flawlessly precise. The search engine additionally says that if certain predictions slip through, the company will manually enforce its policies. That means people might still see weird autocomplete suggestions that get past the automated filters. Pandu Nayak Google Fellow and Vice President of Search explains:
“We [have] expanded our Autocomplete policies related to elections, and we will remove predictions that could be interpreted as claims for or against any candidate or political party. We will also remove predictions that could be interpreted as a claim about participation in the election—like statements about voting methods, requirements, or the status of voting locations—or the integrity or legitimacy of electoral processes, such as the security of the election.”