Google Hikes Up its Skirt - But Just a Little Bit

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by FrgMstr, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    It is not often that Google explains a damn thing to us when it comes to seeing what you are seeing in its search results. While we are not getting the full kimono opened up, Google has given us a look at what goes into those boxes of information that you often see at the top of the search results which are called a "featured snippet." The featured snippets now also have a feedback box below those in hopes of making those better. Thanks scojer!

    Worth mentioning is that DuckDuckGo can many times ferret out the results you are looking for better than Google can. I like comparing its results side-by-side with Google's. It can be an eye opening experience.

    Last year, we took deserved criticism for featured snippets that said things like “women are evil” or that former U.S. President Barack Obama was planning a coup. We failed in these cases because we didn’t weigh the authoritativeness of results strongly enough for such rare and fringe queries.

    This does look to be the first in a series of articles on how Google's search results are mined, sorted, spidered, culled, and finally presented to you.

    We'll explore more about how Google Search works in future posts in this series. In the meantime, you can learn more on our Inside Google Search and How Search Works sites and follow @searchliaison on Twitter for ongoing updates.
     
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  2. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Or its just, you know, different code paths.
     
  3. D4rkn3ss

    D4rkn3ss 2[H]4U

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    pff, fucking google, its time for these little creeps to go, buncha creepy inept motherfuckers
     
  4. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Yes one that changes the result....
     
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  5. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Far more likely its just that particular widget is fed by a different algorithm.

    I dont fully understand what you are implying here. You seem to be implying Google is not only so biased as to outright present 100% incorrect information to its viewers, but thats its so brazen as to change easily lookable history. They also are apparently doing this for literally the entire knowledge of all US (and world?) history.

    I guess you can think that if you want. Ill go with the more sane perspective of its just different data sources algorithmically pulled.
     
  6. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    I used to think google didnt manipulate the results until I actually started seeing it. The data on the second link is pulled directly from wikipedia which you can go look at. Its clear they picked "Other political affiliations" over "Political Parties" to display in their quick results as "Party". So they clearly chose to parse the results as "other political affiliations" = political party. Why someone would make the algorithm do that vs just showing the data AS ITS DISPLAYED on wiki (which is what DuckDuckGo does) is questionable at best.
     
  7. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

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    Who uses google anymore?
     
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  8. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The entire premise of your argument however is Google is trying to change verifiable history. Thats insane, and I simply cant believe they are doing that. We could get into a discussion on if they are trying to change current events or tint current events, thats more fair, but to just present wrong info would destroy their product. I cannot attribute malice to that, it seems far more likely its a programming quirk.
     
  9. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    No I am saying they are changing their presentation of facts to show what they want you to see and its pretty clear their political viewpoints are coming out in that choice.
     
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  10. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, thats fine to think that. I disagree with the phrase "its pretty clear their political viewpoints are coming out in that choice". I think you are just seeing what you want to see from this.
     
  11. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    Duckduckgo for me.

    "Fuck Fuck Google" would work, too.
     
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  12. JamesfromDFW

    JamesfromDFW [H]Lite

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    "Google hikes up their skirt, just a little bit" ... and show your world to me - Dave Matthews.
     
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  13. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    .......am I mistaken in that one query was a general one based on a person and the other the person and his affiliation to one of the two largest political parties in america?

    If this is correct then its natural that the quick results would change. I sometimes change the wording of a search to get closer to the type of answer I am looking for.

    Google reports differently: SATA drives vs best SATA drives.

    I dont see the big complaint, just a lill one :cool:
     
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  14. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    Virtually everyone?

    On a related note, Bing is garbage (unless you're looking for amateur porn).
     
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  15. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Hmmm...think I will use bing this evening...
     
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  16. tempertantrum

    tempertantrum Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, Bing's video search is way better.
     
  17. Chuklr

    Chuklr Gawd

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    Duckduckgo has been my search engine of choice for years.
     
  18. Rahh

    Rahh [H]ard|Gawd

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    I had no idea Google was an object to be sexualized. #metoo
     
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  19. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    I can't find How-To White Supremacy articles on Google anymore.
     
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  20. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    The National Union Party was a real thing, it was effectively Lincoln's own branch of the Republican party. During the war many people in the border states wouldn't vote Republican so he made his own temporary party. It was his final political party affiliation before his assassination.

    Who are we to judge bias in an algorithm when we can barely get our own history straight.
     
  21. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    I know it was a real thing. You missed my point about presenting the facts in such a manner that it suits their goals. I want a search engine to give me results that are not filtered through what they want me to see.
     
  22. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    With Google I get ads thrown in with my results where with DuckDuckGo I just get results. I know which one I like more.
     
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  23. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    The crux of the issue isn't whether or not their manipulating information, since they obviously are, but their motives for doing so. People tend to see this as a black and white issue where it's either clearly for political reasons or it's only based on giving you the most relevant results. The reality is that both can be true simultaneously. My background in neural networks and AI learning tells me that they apply "weight" and "coefficients" to various values when deciding how to parse a search result. So, they say many people already know Abraham Lincoln is a Republican; a Republican of that age is different than today so listing it could be misleading; or that his being a Republican has little bearing on the importance of his life, that is being a wartime president and liberator. So the latter "white" issue person goes: well that sounds perfectly rational to me! Yet the former "black" issue person realizes that his being elected a Republican was a very significant part in the series of events to come - a nation divided on party lines enough that any Republican victory would have led to war - and that omitting it in basic summary results means that their criteria is biased in the sense what they find relevant, isn't.

    It's intentional in the same way as them throwing out Damore over his open approach to discussing sensitive issues; it's not that they willingly censor one side, they just don't see that side as relevant at all. Which honestly is worse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  24. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

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    I thought they manipulated the results to increase profit. Why would they bother with anything else? Profit is what they are about. I only use duckduckgo anyway and have since it was first mentioned right here on [H].
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  25. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    Kinda even simpler than that. Its well known that techniques exist to move a minor player to the big leagues by 'tricking' search results to move things to the top.

    'bump'

    Happens all over.

    Its just that understanding the search engine itself goes a bit deeper into how to:

    'bump'

    Not major news. Just understanding new ways to format and how big money guys make their presence arrive before others.

    Cash and spending ability makes a company that starts with the letter 'W' be first when searching, over companies that start with 'every-other-letter-in-the-alphabet'.

    This is not a mystery. The new way of understanding how it can happen is.
     
  26. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

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    >>“women are evil”

    Looks like accurate results to me!

    .
     
  27. lilbabycat

    lilbabycat 2[H]4U

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    Well I know for a fact wikipedia is attempting to do that, depending on the subject. People looking up articles 10 years from now won't know that the "dozen" sources of a particle article all originate from a single mindset by the current "approved editor" of such piece. http://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_Wikipedia. And yes I know the supposed "hypocrisy" in using an obvious "biased" competing -pedia to condemn wikipedia, but which one is google using for its algorithm?
     
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  28. inuZ

    inuZ [H]Lite

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    Just google "Flag of Syria" - It shows the rebel flag instead of the official. The snippet even describes the official flag.
    Depending on the language you use you get different results. If I use german it shows the correct one.

    If I remember correctly google started to use the rebel flag as the official one in 2016 when searched in english.

    Fun fact: The Wikipedia snippet on the right shows the correct one.
     
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  29. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

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    All these examples are from Wikipedia, you even note the flag depicted is different from the content in the snippet, yet you guys think someone at google is intentionally changing things? aren't these just algorithms pulling data from a page and is dependent upon how those snippets are identified via code? and if the code changes then the algorithm is going to pull the wrong information; that is, the problem is more likely to be an issue on Wikipedia's end than it is on Google's end.
     
  30. GDI Lord

    GDI Lord Limp Gawd

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    I'm not seeing any bias here. (no, really!!) Maybe they use the same code paths in their WhatWeShouldDisplayToTheUser() method because I'm coming from a country that isn't the US?

    (Or maybe because I just don't know your history, so I don't know what would be wrong and what would be correct in search results. "Google: Don't Present Evil Search Results Because the Users Will Straight-Up Believe What We Give Them.")
     
  31. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    We have multiple political parties and google leadership is very vocal against one of them (the one that Lincoln belonged to). Lincoln also belong to a few others during his political career (its in the wiki). Traditionally the party he belonged to points to him as an exemplar of the good they have done vs the other party who say voted to keep slaves. But to deprive them of that Google uses one of the other affiliations so now people doing quick searches see only the "Other political affiliation" rather than what the unbiased wiki article states.

    I am not saying Google is intentionally altering history: just using their algorithims to present their own view of it. Andrew Johnson is a good example that proves this. He has two political affiliations and google shows both. Why not do the same for Lincoln? https://www.google.com/search?sourc...0i131k1j0i46k1j0i131i67k1j0i3k1.0.nyY183Vdtj4

    I might be inclined to dismiss this as an algorithim issue except for the fact that it appears there is no consistency to their approach. Each google search using <president name> political party shows differing styles of results for each President and all the wiki articles are same format...
     
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  32. GDI Lord

    GDI Lord Limp Gawd

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    Ah, OK, thank you.

    Hmmm... I just googled myself and I think they have it spot on: ".... is the best-estest president that the US has ever had." ;-) Also, I didn't realise that I was head of three different political parties.


    Searching for "Nelson Mandela" actually spits up the Nelson Mandela Foundation before him, but the info box/picture box has him there.
    https://www.google.co.za/search?q=nelson+mandela

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  33. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The Whigs, Republicans, and National Union Party were all the same people and ideals (and later, those who were formerly Southern Democrats supporting slavery would join the Republican party when the country was passing anti-discrimination laws). The main problem here is that US citizens don't, by and large, know their own history.

    This leads them to see conspiracy when a google search turns up Lincoln's latest political affiliation instead of the one they think they want (they think they want "Republican" to show up because they believe Lincoln should be affiliated with the modern Republican party so they can claim they have a long history of being on the right side of history in regards to slavery and black rights, but apparently don't understand that modern Republicans trace their roots to Southern Democrats instead).

    There isn't any conspiracy. Google doesn't have anything to benefit from showcasing Lincoln's latest party affiliation before he was assassinated, especially given the fact the National Union Party was simply an attempt to rename the Republican Party and listing someone's latest party affiliation versus one in the middle of his career is an appropriate and standard method of providing information (for example, Joe Lieberman was a Democratic Party political leader since the 1970s and changed to Independent in 2006 yet he's listed as an "Independent." Would you consider this a conspiracy or the correct way to list him? After he's dead, it would be inappropriate to list him as a "Democrat" since he wasn't one when he died regardless of the fact that he *was* one for most of his life).

    To top it off, no one actually cares. There isn't one person who would google search Lincoln and come to some kind of conclusion that modern Republicans were somehow historically on the side of black voters due to his party affiliation in the 1850s. That people actually believe google is manipulating search results for that explicit reason underscores the ridiculous times we live in!
     
  34. Khahhblaab

    Khahhblaab Limp Gawd

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    Its not about - and I agree with your assertation - its about the many folks that use google and the probability that their ideology can be motivated to a certain direction based on google results.

    The idea is about how folks using google <almost equivalent to social media> may be conformed to an idea that isnt complete, instead of wanting to know a subject to go forward and express the idea.

    Folks can be molded based on what they 'only think' they know. Has happened throughout history. One specific ideology constrains free thinking and the populace lives as if it is the only way.

    I personally feel that america's ongoing issues with N.korea is specifically because America'sConstitution is about the freedom of individual thinking. When search results are manufactured to place only 'one' thought that folks will see and read, the possibility exists that one way becomes the norm.

    Social media also has this possible effect.

    Please, please, please, no social media celebrity take a stance about issues of a deleterious nature and against open and free thinking = long reaching importance, make a statement. All of a sudden ignorance will be what is being considered. I am already near angry about the pissin contest and uninformed statements that our voted representatives have shown. Imagine a country based on what "A somebody" with 20 million hits gets through to be voted on.

    .....but, we do feel that Punxsutawney phil can predict winter duration. Maybe its whats next :cool::cool:

    ....long reaching importance, make a statement. I caught the fact that this could be provisional. Its what i'm posting about. How it takes different perspectives to complete..........how it will be considered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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