Google: Sorry our search results listed Nazism as the ideology of the California Republican Party

Earlier today, Rep. Kevin McCarthy pointed out that Google search results for the California Republican Party were listing “Nazism” as the party’s ideology.

Understandably, the GOP in CA is upset by this. From Vice News:

“It is libelous and Wikipedia and Google should take more ownership of what is published on their sites, since both companies just said 5 million Californians support Nazism,” said Cynthia Bryant, executive director of the California Republican Party. “It is unfortunate, but is unlikely to affect the election because anyone with common sense knows we don’t support Nazism.”

“There’s nothing worse you can call someone than labeling them a Nazi,” said Eric Wilson, a longtime Republican digital consultant and founder of Learn Test Optimize. “Google owes Republicans an apology whether it was an algorithm or a human, they’re ultimately responsible.”…

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale sent a letter last week to Facebook and Twitter requesting for more transparency by the companies in how they are preventing political bias internally.

“Google owes conservatives answers and assurances that they are putting an end to this,” McDaniel said in a statement to VICE News. “Evidence is mounting that conservative voices are either being suppressed or, as it appears in this case, being falsely depicted as hateful extremists.”

The information in that sidebar is taken from Wikipedia. Google apologized and said its systems were supposed to catch instances of vandalism but “occasionally” those systems fail:

According to the Wikipedia talk page, the addition of Nazism was made on May 24th and reverted Wednesday night. One user wrote, “It’s alarming that Wikipedia’s automated processes failed to catch and correct this glaringly obvious libel.”

It does seem like this is a particularly glaring example of the kind of vandalism Google’s systems ought to be primed to detect. How did this one survive a week?

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