Wuhan Institute of Virology lab

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The head of Google’s health division David Feinberg said the company does not auto-complete searches for certain unverified theories to ensure users aren’t led “down pathways” to more misinformation.

During the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Health conference on June 9, WSJ reporter Jamie Heller said her colleague noticed Google does not autofill searches for “coronavirus lab leak” the way it does for other queries. 

Feinberg responded by saying Google employs a group of clinicians that on its Search team and YouTube team to make sure the tech giant isn’t “leading people down pathways that we would find to be not authoritative information.”

He added users can find whatever they are looking for using Google — including misinformation — but the tech firm aims to ensure the first thing users see is information coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, national health systems, and other authorities.

“If you’re looking for a conspiracy, you can certainly find it on the internet,” Feinberg said during the conference. “We just don’t want it to be the first thing that you see.”

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The World Health Organization reported the virus that causes COVID-19 likely jumped from bats to people through an intermediary animal host, potentially at a wildlife farm in China. But the AP reported the Chinese government had strictly controlled all research into the origins of the new coronavirus as of December 2020.

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Some experts, including David Relman, an immunologist from Stanford University School of Medicine, penned a letter pushing back on the WHO’s report and requesting more research into the lab leak theory.

President Joe Biden set a 90-day deadline in late May for US intelligence officials to gather evidence into the origins of the deadly virus.

Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for additional comment.

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Source:: Business Insider


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