Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Last week, as COVID-19 began its spread around the globe, I noted here that the epidemic had prompted a notable change in the big tech platforms. Where they were once loath to intervene in the affairs of their own algorithms, even when the potential harms to public health were clear, the arrival of a novel coronavirus put them in a newly interventionist mindset.
Today I want to highlight another tech giant coming around, belatedly, to the idea of editorial intervention in a crisis. The giant is Google, and while the company had previously begun directing COVID-19 queries on YouTube to the World Health Organization, it has since gone further. Here are Mark Bergen and Gerrit De Vynck in Bloomberg:
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Google searches related to the virus now…