The Google search engine has recently introduced a new “preliminary results” feature that will allow users to determine whether or not their website will be pulled from search results when a search query appears.
Google will now only remove websites that it believes are likely to be in violation of its policies, with a “no-follow” warning and an immediate blacklisting of the site.
The changes came into effect on December 1.
This follows changes that Google made to its search engine that were first announced on December 11, with the intention of curbing the spread of hate speech on the internet.
According to the company, “nofollow” warnings will now be used as an “optional” indicator that websites could possibly be violating its policies.
A warning from the company is not sufficient to automatically block an individual’s site, as the information is considered to be “relevant” and “sensitive”.
It will still be possible to delete the offending website, however.
A few weeks ago, Google made headlines by announcing a new blacklisting policy which allowed users to request their search engine results be removed from the search engine for “hate speech”.
However, since then, the company has changed its policy, stating that the blacklisting will be a “one-time, temporary measure”, with the aim of limiting the spread and “removing hate speech”.
While the change is welcome, it is still not a complete ban on all hate speech, nor a comprehensive ban on hate speech.
In a blog post on December 12, Google said it had been working on “the right policy for the long term” since it was created, and that it was “working hard to make sure that it is a safe environment for everyone”.
“This change will make it much easier for search engines to find and remove hate speech that they feel is inappropriate, and the ability to remove hate from search queries for those that we believe violate our policies,” the company added.
“While we know this is a complex issue, we want to be clear that this is not about shutting down hate speech or censoring speech, it’s about removing hate speech from search.”
The company’s post on the matter reads: “This is about making sure that search results are not filtered based on the content of an individual search query.
While this will make some search results less useful, we believe that is a better solution for all users.”