- Alex Wong/Getty
- The Mueller report was classified as “fiction” when you searched for it on Google.
- The Mueller report, which details special counsel Robert S. Mueller III‘s findings of Russian interference during the 2016 US presidential election and President Donald Trump’s conduct, is not fiction.
- The section in the Google results page for the “Mueller report” search term is fallible – which is problematic for Google, the most used search engine in the world, which many turn to in order to find accurate information.
- Google seems to have fixed the issue, but it’s unclear how long the problem lasted or how many users ran into it.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Mueller report appeared as “fiction” when you search for it on Google, as first spotted by The Washington Post. The problem appears to be fixed, but it’s unclear when it first began.
The report appears on the right side of the Google results page as a book available for purchase. Under the description of the book, it’s classified as “fiction,” as you can see in the screenshot below.
The Mueller report contains special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings on Russian interference during the 2016 US election and President Donald Trump’s conduct. It is decidedly not fiction.
There’s no telling how long the Mueller report has been classified under fiction, or how many people have searched for the report and falsely shown that it’s fiction. Google told The Washington Post that it is amending the listing, and it would would be fixed “shortly.”
Business Insider also used the “Mueller report” search term about 50 minutes after The Washington Post’s story was published, and found that it was still classified as “fiction.” However, just prior to the publication of this story, it was amended to “non-fiction” when the search was repeated.
- Business Insider
The section where the Mueller report was shown as fiction is populated by Google’s Knowledge Graph system, which automatically generates these quick information boxes based on information it finds on the web.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Google spokesperson said “the Knowledge Graph is our systems’ understanding of the people, places and things in the world. While we strive to always present accurate information, errors can occur. When we’re made aware of inaccuracies, we work to fix them quickly.”
Seeing as Google is the most used search engine in the world, however, it seems likely that even brief issues with the Knowledge Graph can cause misinformation to spread to a lot of people.