With the united states midterms approaching fast, Google has today outlined how its seeking to help connect Search and YouTube users with trustworthy information round the polls, and combat misinformation and manipulation efforts across its platforms.
To begin with, Googles adding new election information guidance within related Google Serp’s to greatly help connect voters with accurate information.
As explained by Google:
In the coming weeks, when people seek out how exactly to vote” in both English and Spanish theyll find election information panels sourced from Democracy Works, a nonpartisan and nonprofit data provider, which works directly with state election administrators to aggregate information regarding how they are able to vote within their state, alongside key dates and deadlines, and guidance for options like voting early, in-person or by mail. The info panels may also link to state official websites, which provide more info.
Thatll make sure that people can access accurate, up-to-date information regarding their local polls every time they need, that could help dispel misinformation and/or voter manipulation efforts.
Googles also launching a fresh, localized news coverage feature, to be able to help readers discover local and regional news from each state, in order to better understand the election coverage of races they most value.
Over on YouTube, users will now be served updated serp’s for midterm-related queries, with YouTubes systems more prominently recommending content from authoritative national and local news sources, including PBS NewsHour, The Wall Street Journal, Univision and local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.
This same approach applies to videos in your watch next panels. Employed in tandem, our systems may also be limiting the spread of harmful election misinformation by identifying borderline content and keeping it from being widely recommended.
For searches specifically linked to voting, a fresh information panel will direct users to Googles how exactly to vote and how exactly to register to vote features.
YouTubes also adding new info panels on candidate profiles and videos, that may present key information, including their political party and any office theyre running for.
On election day, YouTube may also showcase timely information on election results underneath videos and near the top of search results linked to the midterms.
As you can plainly see here, the alerts may also connect to Googles election results feature, where people can track official election results in real-time.
Furthermore, Google may also be upping its efforts to eliminate election misinformation, and quash emerging threats, while its also launching a fresh digital literacy campaign, that may share tips about how to identify various kinds of manipulation tactics used to spread misinformation.
Its a never-ending battle, with malicious actors switching up their tactics in reaction to every platform update, but with digital platforms now playing an integral role in the dissemination of news and information, its important that platforms turn to do whatever they are able to to handle such threats, and ensure fair and unbiased civic process.
Needless to say, such efforts may also be attacked by critics, wholl declare that these reference resources may also be biased, which negates the complete operation. But Google is dealing with recognized, endorsed third-party organizations to increase its efforts, that ought to help address concerns before they are able to have any major impact.