Google Decided To Drop The Silly Answers, Not The Evil
Weaponized Disinformation Is Fine, But How Dare You Ask Silly Questions!
Google have decided to nix one of the small amusements on the web, trying to confuse their snippets by asking bizarre questions. It seems that they have been spending a lot of time trying to find ways to stop the automatic featured responses you sometimes see appear when you ask silly questions. Apparently having a bit of a laugh with their algorithm is far more damaging to society than stopping it from promoting straight out lies that have good SEO.
Somehow receiving a reply similar to “It looks like there aren’t many great results for this search” is not quite as satisfying as watching Google blithely quote a Monty Python sketch when asked why firetrucks are red. Yet another nice thing we aren’t allowed to have anymore.
That means users should see fewer answers to questions such as "When did Snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln?", to which the service would once merrily respond with "1865" -- the right date, but very much the wrong assassin.
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Google (both ownership, leadership, and the rank-and-file) has a clear socio-political bias. I don’t trust them to decide what “misinformation” is (or whatever Jeremy is talking about as “weaponized”), or even what a lie is. I’m not looking for a Ministry of Truth when I want to search then Internet. I had been using DuckDuckGo for a while, until I found out about their AD deal with Microsoft (which, by the way, is why in their adverts you see them concentrate on the evils of Google, Facebook, etc, but not MS). Their CEO then decided to confuse the world by talking about “misinformation” effecting search rankings, then tried to backtrack. I now use Brave search mostly, but the best way to get good results is a meta search engine like Presearch, or the free and open source SearX, of which there are many instances. Can’t trust any one entity, and there’s a conundrum between what is appropriate to filter out of search results (like SPAM, or malware sites) and what is more debatable (SEO abuse, etc). “Misinformation” to me isn’t debatable though, whatever that may be. If it’s not SPAM, malware, and there’s no obvious SEO abuse going on, search engines should return the result just like any other site. At the very least, give people an opt-out or in on filtering of that nature.
I’ll have to check out Presearch and SearX as I haven’t run into either yet.
From your comment I believe you do know exactly what I mean by disinformation and lies 😉