Reply to post: User-generated content.

'Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it...' Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam

Palpy

User-generated content.

Letting users add whatever sh*t they want to GMB or GMaps is a great way to get a huge amount of data onto the platform, as long as one recognizes that much of the data will be a scam, a joke, or just plain stupid. (The tiny mining town of Empire, Nevada, USA, has a miniscule airport; on GMaps the airport is linked to a beautiful photo of Kowloon Bay at night. I do not know if the person who posted the photo, Stephen KY Hung, is making a joke or if he is simply clueless. In this case, I doubt that it is a scam.)

Of course, dumb-squat stuff like a misplaced photo is pretty harmless. It's more annoying when a road marked on GMaps is simply not there on the ground. But money-stealing scams as described in the article to hand lean toward (or simply are) criminal activity.

I can think of sites with user-generated content which are also efficiently user-curated; there may be errors but concerned users debate and correct misinformation pretty well. (No, not Wikipedia -- it can be and has been co-opted by misinformation. Wikipedia's system attempts accuracy, though.) And then there's Google, which appears to have what amounts to negative curating by users: users are enabled to easily add misinformation, but not to easily remove it.

But look, Alphabet is not in the business of public good, it's in business for the money. Expect corruption.

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