Ev Williams
Oct 18, 2016 · 2 min read

If you Google to learn about one of the initiatives on California’s November ballot, you’ll get a quick and opinionated answer:

Guess that answers that!

The text, of course, is from a political web site that is taking a strong position on this bill that aims to curb gun violence. There are other web pages making the prop case for Prop 63. But they don’t rank as highly, nor benefit from Google’s answer extraction.

This is automated, of course, and I’m not suggesting Google is actually taking a position here. (And, I’d strongly speculate, if they were, it wouldn’t be this one.) But I’m certain millions of people trust The Google enough to accept this answer as fact. (See also: “what is prop 63”.)

For the record, it’s wrong. Prop 63 is a historic and important bill, which you should definitely vote for if you’re in California.

Read more about it: Prop 63

Within two hours of publishing this post, the snippet showing up in the results is expanded:

The good news is, this is a more obviously biased snippet than the first version. The bad news is, it’s bigger. What’s happening here?

Ev Williams

Written by

CEO of Medium, partner at Obvious Ventures, co-founder of Twitter, thinker of thoughts

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade