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How Google Maps protects towards faux content material

Over 300 million contributors share their experiences on Google Maps every year, serving to individuals get the most recent info for greater than 250 million locations all over the world. With over 20 million evaluations, pictures, enterprise hour updates and different contributions added to Maps every day, we’re invested in ensuring info is correct and unhelpful content material is eliminated.

We beforehand shared how we use each automated applied sciences and our knowledgeable groups to catch faux evaluations earlier than they’re ever seen. Now we’re sharing 3 ways we cease policy-violating content material from being submitted.

Responding shortly to real-time abuse

Our programs are always monitoring for uncommon patterns in contributed content material. After we detect suspicious exercise, we act shortly and will implement protections to stop additional abuse. This could embody every little thing from taking down policy-violating content material to quickly disabling new contributions. For instance, earlier this 12 months we noticed a sudden spike in 1-star evaluations on an area bar in Missouri. To cease the abuse, we disabled the score operate quickly on the place in order that the bar’s score wouldn’t be additional affected. In the meantime, we additionally eliminated policy-violating evaluations and investigated the accounts that left the evaluations.

Stopping abuse forward of delicate moments

Along with defending locations after we see indicators of abuse, we proactively shield locations throughout instances after we anticipate an uptick in off-topic and unhelpful content material. For instance, round election time within the U.S. polling stations are inclined to obtain contributions unrelated to the precise expertise of visiting that location. Consequently, in 2020, we restricted the flexibility for individuals to counsel edits to telephone numbers, addresses and different factual info for locations like voting websites to assist keep away from the unfold of election-related misinformation.

Instating longer-term protections

Past these short-term protections, there are additionally longer-term protections for locations the place we now have discovered consumer contributions to be persistently unhelpful, dangerous, or off-topic. This consists of locations that individuals go to with out selection or locations solely accessible to individuals stationed or assigned there — equivalent to police stations and prisons. A set of frameworks helps us consider how useful consumer enter may be for some of these locations, and based mostly on the end result we could apply restrictions starting from limiting contributions to blocking a selected sort of content material to blocking contributed content material altogether.

In these situations, we could inform customers when contributions to sure locations can’t be accepted. For instance, if somebody is trying to write a evaluation for a jail on Google Maps, they could discover a notification banner that claims this performance is turned off with a hyperlink to be taught extra about our insurance policies. Even in instances the place we impose restrictions, individuals can nonetheless see useful details about these locations, like its tackle, web site and telephone quantity.

In circumstances that warrant protections, our wide selection of strategies assist forestall dangerous content material from being contributed. We’ll proceed to evolve our framework and put money into proactive methods to maintain info on Maps useful and dependable.

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