File photo – Silhouettes of the laptop, and the users of mobile devices are see next to a projection screen of the Google logo in this picture illustration 28 March 2018. (REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration)
Google came under fire on Thursday, after an error in the Knowledge of the list Pane “Nazism” as the ideology of the California Republican y.
The error, which was first spotted by political strategist Eric Wilson, showed “Nazism” in addition to other ideologies such as “Conservatism,” “Market liberalism,” “Fiscal conservatism,” and “Green conservatism.”
If you search for “California Republicans” on Google, Google lists “Nazism” as one of the ideologies. pic.twitter.com/JblamxkyF7
— Eric Wilson (@ericwilson) 31-May-2018
The error showed up in Google’s Knowledge Panel, which retrieves information from various sources on the internet, such as Wikipedia.
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Google should apologize for labeling the Republicans as nazis
— Eric Wilson (@ericwilson) 31-May-2018
“Google should apologize for labeling the Republicans nazis,” Wilson tweeted. Wilson is the founder of LearnTestOptimize, which describes itself as “a community platform for professionals working at the intersection of marketing, technology and politics.”
The error is fixed now, but not for the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., hit the company in the error.
Unfortunately, this is only the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives. These harmful actions have to be taken into account. #StopTheBias https://t.co/6ztyuc772s
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) 31-May-2018
“Unfortunately, this is only the latest incident in a disturbing trend to slander conservatives,” McCarthy wrote. “These malicious actions have to be taken into account. #StopTheBias”
The news was first reported by Vice News.
When reached for comment, a Google spokesman told Fox News the error is probably the result of vandalism on one of the sources.
“This was not the result of any change manually by anyone at Google. We don’t bias our search results in the direction of a political party. Sometimes people vandalize public information sources, such as Wikipedia, which may affect the information that appears in search results,” the spokesperson said via e-mail.
The spokesman continues: “We have a system for catching vandalism before they affect search results, but sometimes mistakes get through, and that is what happened here. This should be solved systematically as soon as we have processed the deletion of Wikipedia, but when we saw that the vandalism we worked quickly to speed up this process of removing the erroneous information.”
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Silicon Valley has come under fire in recent months for being seen as the suppression of the conservative vote, including a number of high-ranking members of the Republican party.
During his testimony before Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, about the company’s “pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship,” pointing to a recent incident with Fox News Channel employees of the Diamond, and Silk-which were temporarily banned from the platform.
In response to Cruz’s question, Zuckerberg said that Diamond and Silk ban an error has occurred. “In that specific case, our team made a maintenance of the error, and we have already gotten in contact with them,” Zuckerberg said.
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The tech exec also noted that he was concerned about the political bias in the tech industry, and he has tried to root on Facebook.
A source familiar with Google’s thinking noted that the systems are designed to detect if their information services are destroyed.
“These generally work well, but not perfect,” the source said, and when the company is notified of an error, it is fixed.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia