Google’s top search results promote offensive content, again

Google’s search algorithms have been haphazard for a long time, but over the past year we’ve seen a number of incidents where top results are spreading wildly inaccurate and offensive material. The latest has Google highlighting an offensive meme from the sjwhate subreddit as part of its search result for the “gender fluid” query. The offensive image is the first thing you see for the term, alongside a Wikipedia entry.

The slip-up comes just a month after Google briefly gave its “top stories” stamp of approval to two 4chan threads identifying the wrong suspect in the recent Las Vegas mass shooting tragedy. This latest search result problem appears to be related to the company’s snippet feature. Featured snippets are designed to answer…

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Google’s Gboard app gets more languages and built-in stickers

After catching up with iOS, Google's keyboard app for Android is now racing ahead, courtesy of an update that packs 40 additional languages (including Japanese), and built-in sticker packs. Although Google already has a keyboard for non-Latin script…
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Swift code will run on Google’s Fuchsia OS

A few days ago, there was a flash-in-the-pan controversy over Google “forking” Apple’s open-source programming language Swift. After a few minutes of speculation over whether Google was going to make its own special flavor of the language for its own purposes, Swift’s creator Chris Lattner (who now works at Google) helpfully clarified the situation:

Google just wanted its own working copy of the code so it could make changes and then contribute them “upstream” to the official Swift repository. No funny business.

What’s more…

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Google’s CitizenTube YouTube channel is back up after being terminated, though its homepage is filled with protest videos

Way back in 2007, Google introduced the CitizenTube YouTube channel as the site’s “political video blog.” Though it hasn’t been used in quite a few years (the most recent video was uploaded in 2012), it was recently terminated for violating YouTube’s policy. CitizenTube is now live again, but given the types of videos that have populated the channel’s homepage, it looks like it was hacked.

We didn’t catch the channel while it was down, but it reportedly showed visitors this message when it was accessed:

This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations.

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Google’s CitizenTube YouTube channel is back up after being terminated, though its homepage is filled with protest videos was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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