As tragic events unfold, people clamor for facts.
Unfortunately, as credible news outlets take time to source information for their stories, unscrupulous online parties can use Google’s algorithm to reach massive numbers of readers quickly.
Just weeks after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a gunman opened fire in a Texas church, killing 26. Google’s algorithms had not been adjusted since the Las Vegas massacre, despite calls for an overhaul, and misinformation again ran rampant.
Google has once again been called out for algorithmically encouraging the spread of dubious, politically charged speculation and misinformation around a topical news event.
In the latest instance of the algorithmic amplification of misinformation, the news event in question is a shooting in a Texas church on Sunday. Authorities have identified 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley as the perpetrator.