Inside Google & Alphabet - June 10th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jun 10th, 2019)

Google Search Tweak / YouTube's Content Moderation / Russia Threats


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1. Google has announced a "diversity" change to its search results. Google search will restrict sites from having more than two pages included in a list of search results. This is, as you might guess, to encourage "diversity" in the search results as opposed to getting most of the top results from a couple of domains. Google officials said there would be exceptions to this restriction if Google considered more results "relevant," but it's not clear what that would entail. The change already is in effect, having started June 3. -- SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL 

What do you think of this change — will it improve results? Hit reply and tell me what you think.


2. Following YouTube's hate speech quagmire, a new report suggests a man was radicalized by the company's AI-driven recommendation system. "I fell down the alt-right rabbit hole," the 26-year-old told The New York Times. It's the latest blow to the content moderation dilemma facing YouTube, where 94 percent of 18- to 24-year-old Americans use the platform, the Pew Research Center says. Seventy percent of YouTube's views are driven by recommendation algorithms, setting up a conflict between the platform's need to drive views and questionable, but oft-viewed, content. Critics outside the company — and some of Google's employees — question whether YouTube is doing enough to protect LGBTQ creators following the fallout in the Maza/Crowder situation. SF Pride organizers considered removing Google from this year's event. -- NEW YORK TIMES


3. Russia's state communications regulator is threatening to open a new case against Google. The company was fined by Russia in late 2018 for refusing to remove certain results from its search. Though the current threat does relate to Google's content filtering, it appears that Google might be at least partially complying with Russia's demands, which are predicated on Russia's recently-enacted fake news law. If Google overtly admits to censoring search results in Russia, one wonders what the employee response will be, considering the big pushback against Project Dragonfly (which may or may not be canceled). -- THE MOSCOW TIMES  


4. One of the organizers of Google's recent walkout has left the company. Claire Stapleton had been at Google for 12 years as a marketing manager but left after experiencing what she felt was a campaign of retaliation (she reflected on her time at Google and the forces she feels pushed her out in a brief Medium post). Google has denied the allegation that Stapleton was the subject of retaliation. -- THE GUARDIAN
 


5. A judge has ruled that Google must face a hiring lawsuit. It is being accused of bias against hiring conservatives. -- THE VERGE

6. The Remote Desktop feature for Google Chrome has moved from being an installed app to a website. That'll make family tech support a lot easier. -- ENGADGET

7. Google is arguing to the Trump administration that a ban on Huawei could be a national security risk. -- REUTERS

8. A German jobs site is accusing Google of anticompetitive practices. At issue is Google for Jobs, which launched there in May. -- YAHOO NEWS

9. Google's search's autocomplete feature is being criticized for suggesting a search for the Christchurch mosque shooting video. Google apparently previously scrubbed the video from its results. -- NEW ZEALAND HERALD

10. Need a little nostalgia? Take a walk down memory lane with Lifehacker as it reviews the top 10 services Google shut down. I could not agree more with #1 on the list: Bring back Google Reader. -- LIFEHACKER


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