An article published by the University of Toronto’s Graduate School of Journalism found that “news and misinformation on social media” have been “used as propaganda” in search engine results.
Google’s “fact check” team, which monitors how “misinformation” is presented in the media, has noted that “false and misleading information can appear in the results of search queries as well.”
“While the information presented in these results may be accurate, it does not necessarily represent the views of the University,” the article stated.
“This research is important for ensuring the safety of students, students of colour, students with disabilities, women and LGBTQIA+ students.”
A spokesperson for Google said the company takes “fact checking” very seriously.
“Google will regularly remove content from our platform that is not in compliance with our policies,” a spokesperson for the search giant told VICE News.
“The information we remove in this case was removed as part of a systematic review of fact-checking practices.”
The university said the article was “misleading,” and that it would “investigate” the claims made in it.
“We will not be changing the fact check results for students who are enrolled in the course,” the spokesperson added.
VICE News reached out to Google for comment.
“In this case, it is clear that the story was based on inaccurate information, and it was reported to Google,” the company said in a statement to VICE News, adding that “we take all allegations of content plagiarism very seriously.”
“We regularly check to make sure our fact checks are accurate and do not create false claims.
We also have policies in place to address any potential plagiarism, including in our policies on search engine content.”
Google has also been criticized in the past for removing material from its search results.
In August, the company was criticized after removing a post from its site that accused President Donald Trump of being a “white supremacist.”
In January, it was revealed that Google’s algorithms were mislabeling an article from the New York Times that claimed that Trump had called African Americans “superpredators.”
A post by the company’s human resources department at the time said that the article “is not correct, but that we have a policy of removing erroneous information from our site.”