Image for post
Image for post

#NotOKGoogle Search Suggestions: 2018 Edition

Information pollution through platform vandalism

I’m at a loss to understand how this could *still* be happening. The quality and reliability of Google’s search suggestions have actually devolved in the past year. It almost reads like these input signals are coming out of Reddit, Twitter and other online and social news forums.

February 20, 2018. Below are some examples of what kids are likely to see when they begin to type in or use Google to look up a controversial topic. Why does this matter? It matters because this is information pollution at the most critical interface: search. Google is the knowledge portal for most of the world.

When toxic information — suggestions like the ones seen below — get in the way of people actively fact checking and truth-seeking, it’s a major problem.

Blacklivesdontmatter.

Nazis are the new normal.

Image for post
Image for post

Feminist(s) are crazy. Insane. Unhappy. Miserable. Jealous.

Image for post
Image for post

The KKK is an example of a Christian organization. Here to stay. Back. Getting bigger. Awesome.

Image for post
Image for post

The Nazis were not evil. Not socialists. Weren’t socialists. Weren’t evil.

Image for post
Image for post

Black Panther is … too black.

Image for post
Image for post

Police are evil. Useless. Not your friends. Corrupt. Terrorists.

Image for post
Image for post

Ferguson was a lie. Staged. Not about race. A hoax. Fake. Stupid.

[Michael Brown] was a thug.

Image for post
Image for post

Michael Brown was a thug. No angel. A criminal. Guilty. Wasn’t a … superhuman demon?

Image for post
Image for post

Mass shootings are fake. Democrats. The price of freedom.

Image for post
Image for post

David Hogg actor.

Image for post
Image for post

The poor are like stray cats. Lazy. Responsible for their poverty.

Image for post
Image for post

White culture is superior. Dying. Disappearing.

Image for post
Image for post

Black culture is toxic. Bad. Taking over America. The problem. Destructive. Inferior. Degenerate.

Image for post
Image for post

We’re at a critical juncture in social cohesion & the role of tech in society. The walls have been breached; platforms are now getting vandalized in broad daylight. The suggestion below isn’t offensive, but it’s no less frightening. Because [ “ ] instead of [ ‘ ] is a common fast-typing (shift key) error, these results might be from searches under duress that originate from a shared home computer.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Professor and researcher in news, journalism, and #hashtags. Award-nominated data journalist. Media, communication, and technology.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store