New York, NY – The issue of fake news has been apparent in the United States for many years. Now, with a sweeping pandemic, the issue proves to only grow worse. Right now, being knowledgeable about Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is not only important but is essential for the health and safety of the entire population. In these trying times, Google is failing to contain misinformation.
Currently, Google is claiming that they are doing their best to stop fake news from being spread on their search engine. So, with knowing Google, businessman Yury Mosha attempted to test out the truth of their claims for himself as an experiment. He found such sites that are not credible at all, as they only write about gossip and will publish anything for a price. So, Yury had some articles published on these websites. Once they were published, he reached out to Google via their online form and let them know that not only are these sites publishing fake news, but they are also being indexed.
What did Google answer to this? That they will not be deleting anything.
As a collective, we give Google an enormous amount of power to do as they please. It seems as if they think that they are above the law. Even in such trying times, when they claim they will be working to help stop the spread of false information, they do not live up to their own standards. More so than as a collective, this brings up the question as to why the government is doing nothing about this.
When it comes to the subject of fake news, the government has been slow to stop this growing problem, as internet laws are outdated and it seems that there is no urgent concern about this. Due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”, Google does not have to take responsibility for dealing with fake news websites. In Europe, laws have already been changed and Google is now responsible for this sort of content. Now, it is time for America to do the same.
Billions of people daily are using Google to find accurate and truthful information. Those who are not as tech-savvy and aware of false information will often trust the links that Google presents them. Imagine now, someone goes to Google to find facts about Coronavirus and they are presented with false information and they believe it. This leads to a potentially life-threatening situation.
Something needs to be done. We cannot go on like this, allowing Google to constantly get away with being careless. We saw this once, with the 2016 election, and now we are seeing it again in 2020. What needs to occur for the government to take action? This is putting American lives at risk, yet nothing is being done to enforce or back up Google’s claims. Why wait until it is too late when people begin to, if they have not already, suffer and have real-life consequences due to Google allowing such information to be presented? Why is it when someone reached out to them about such fake news, they ignored it?
If there was ever a time for the government to get involved with Google, it is now. Laws are not being changed fast enough. Right now, everyone is seeing the true power that the U.S. government holds, especially in a crisis situation. This is something that no one is taking seriously. For everyone’s safety, this needs to be considered an urgent matter. These internet laws need to change so that social networks and search engines will have to be held responsible for this content. These are organizations that have the financial means to maintain such services that will filter out content. The U.S. Congress needs to quickly make this decision before anything gets worse.