×

The guy who invented Google News says lack of vetted stories is 'shameful and irresponsible'

  • An engineer who launched Google News says it's shameful the service isn't doing better vetting.
  • Google News recently highlighted rumors from 4Chan.
  • Twitter and Facebook have come under similar scrutiny.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Getty Images
Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Krishna Bharat, one of the engineers who helped lead and create Google News, recently called the product "shameful and irresponsible," after Google highlighted content from illegitimate sources.

Bharat — who is no longer with Google — was specifically referring to an incident in which Google News surfaced threads from 4Chan that had identified the wrong person as the Las Vegas shooter.

Here's the full quote, posted to Facebook:

Google friends -- this is shameful and irresponsible. Time to go back to the tried and tested practice of showing vetted sources for fresh queries at the top of web search. This would not have happened on my watch. Google News per se doesn't feature 4chan for a reason. [User generated content] is unreliable, and anything of value there will ultimately be screened by and surface in mainstream sources. Why not wait to be sure? You have a responsibility to get it right. This section is called 'Top Stories' not 'Rumors'.

Bharat's comments come as the government digs deeper into the responsibilities of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to filter out fake news. Twitter and Facebook have also come under increased scrutiny after investigators discovered Russia bought ads on the social networks in an effort to sway the 2016 political election.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.