Today the Washington Examiner headlined: “Google refers to Republican senator David Perdue as ‘lying, unscrupulous politician.'” That is certainly eye-catching! Where did Google say this? In the box that shows up on the right side of the page when you search on Perdue’s name, as I wrote about here. This is the screen shot that the Examiner published:
That’s pretty horrific. If Google has any sense–and someone there must–they are unhappy about it.
What happened? I think the answer is that the text in the “knowledge graph,” as Google apparently calls it, comes from the Wikipedia page on the subject of the search. Wikipedia entries can be edited by various people authorized to do so, most of whom are on the left. I suppose some lefty Wikipedian inserted the “lying, unscrupulous politician” in Perdue’s Wikipedia entry and it was picked up, perhaps by a mechanical process without human intervention, on Google’s search page.
If that is the case, the Wikipedia entry has now been scrubbed; likewise the Google search page, which now looks like this:
This incident illustrates, I think, the danger of liberal Silicon Valley companies purporting to educate the rest of us on the “facts” as they relate to politics. I can’t believe that, however left-wing Google may be, it wants to go out of its way to antagonize the political party that controls the House, the Senate, the White House, a large majority of governorships and a large majority of state legislatures. But liberal Google thought it made sense to rely on liberal Wikipedia to furnish basic information about political figures, among others.
If companies like Google have any sense, they will get out of the political “fact-checking” business altogether.