Every day, Google receives about 20 million contributions to Maps, the navigation application of the giant Mountain View company. As a note from the group explains, in all of 2021, global teams handling the service blocked more than 100 million incorrect changes, including images, descriptions, and business hours. Thanks to the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence, Google was able to identify and remove more than 7 million fake company profiles, 630,000 of which were reported directly by users. More than 12 million attempts to create fake company accounts and nearly 8 million aimed at pretending to be businesses that don’t belong to bad guys.
“Through improvements in machine learning technologies, we have deactivated more than 1 million user accounts for policy-violating activities, such as vandalism or online fraud,” explained Pavithra Kanakarajan, Group Product Manager, User-Generated Content at Google. According to company data, after various reopenings from closings, people have relied more on Google Maps to check the opening hours of stores, parks and other places of public interest, as well as to access information about health safety protocols in place.
This has resulted in an “influx of fake comments and violent content”, often for no specific reason. “Review bombings, for example, have become a popular way for people to try to harm local businesses, an extreme phenomenon where public debate about security measures has been more lively.” In response, Google has blocked or removed more than 95 million reviews, 60,000 of which are for Covid-related reasons.
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