Target: Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google, Inc.
Goal: Scrub Google Home’s “Snippets” program until it can provide reliable results.
Google Home’s “snippet” feature, which reads out a single answer to a user’s question based on an algorithm, has been reading back dangerously unreliable, false information. In response to the question, “is Obama planning a coup?” multiple sources report that Google Home gave an answer from the notoriously dubious, right-wing conspiracy site Secrets of the Fed: “not only could Obama be in bed with the Communist Chinese, but Obama may in fact be planning a Communist coup d’etat at the end of his term in 2016!”
A vast amount of this country relies on and trusts Google as a source of true information. The “snippets” feature is meant to provide results that are simple and easy to digest, rather than a list of sources. However, this means that unlike in a normal Google search, the user cannot see the results that show up directly below something like Secrets of the Fed, debunking the false news. Google is aware of the problem, and has stated that since the algorithm links to third party sources, “unfortunately, there are instances when we feature a site with inappropriate or misleading content.” Currently Google is trying to fix this on a case by case basis, but the program clearly requires an overhaul to be sure that users are not being fed fake news. Sign below to demand that the “snippets” program be scrubbed until it is reliable.
Dear Chief Executive Officer Pichai,
Millions of people rely on and trust Google to find information and answers to their questions. The “snippets” program in which Google Home speaks aloud a singular answer to a user’s question based on an algorithm, with no way of ensuring that the source is reliable, is a dangerous source of misinformation.
It is irresponsible to try and fix this problem on a case by case basis, while many users may still be receiving and believing utterly false information provided to them by Google Home. I urge you to scrub the “snippets” program and overhaul it, until it can be sure to provide reliable facts to its users.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Frederik Hermann