Google Surfaces Conspiracy Theories About Texas Shooting

Much as we saw after the Las Vegas shooting in October, Google's algorithm doesn't do a great job of minimizing the reach of conspiracy theories and false news. After a shooting in Texas, fake news about the shooter received a lot of attention due to its prominent placement in Google search results.

Some of the first Twitter-sourced listings when searching the shooter's name included unsubstantiated claims that the shooter was a Democrat, had converted to Islam, or was a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

Google responded to complaints by suggesting the Twitter carousel doesn't actually provide these posts with a prominent position, but it says it'll work to improve the content it highlights.

For the queries in question, they are not the first results we show on the page. Instead, they appear after news sources, including our Top Stories carousel which we have been constantly updating. We'll continue to look at ways to improve how we rank tweets that appear in search. - Google