Google presented Bitcoin (BTC) as a “collapsed economic bubble” for a short spell last week before amending the description to a neutral one, as reported by Finance Magnates. Shared screenshots revealed that people saw this assertion on the first page when they searched for information on the cryptocurrency.
It should first be noted that Google’s search algorithm, which is not full-fledged AI, picks up relevant information from reputable sites with a high search ranking, taking their introductory definition of the search term and displaying it high up on the right-hand side of its search engine result page (SERP). Secondly, what appears on Google SERPs does not reflect the opinion of the company. Most of the time, the definition on the cards comes from Wikipedia.
Cryptovest investigated the matter using error-level analysis (ELA) on the screenshot distributed and looking through Wikipedia’s edit history of the Bitcoin article.
The compression contrast results from the ELA analysis suggest the image is indeed authentic. Even though the contrast was high compared to the background of the image —something that often happens when working with highly-compressed images against a white background — it was consistent.
The Wikipedia history analysis was more revealing. The controversial description was inserted on December 12 by user Smallbones, who justified it by saying “the majority view” held that Bitcoin was a “collapsed economic bubble.”
This incident resulted in a tussle between Smallbones and a user named Bradv, who insisted that editors should follow Wikipedia’s rules and avoid projecting their own points of view in the articles.
“This edit is inappropriate for any number of reasons, but especially because of Smallbones’ clear point of view expressed at [Jimmy Wales’ (Wikipedia founder) talk page]. I suggest that Smallbones is no longer qualified to edit the article, as their edits are clearly soapboxing,” Bradv wrote.
The majority of editors participating in the discussion sided with Bradv, and the matter has since been resolved.