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Google was reportedly showing the image of an innocent man on a Google Knowledge Panel that had been discussing a notorious serial killer and rapist. Hacker News was buzzing about this report. Google’s Knowledge Panel’s unreliable reputation was the topic of a blog post by the subject of the wrong image. Google’s Knowledge Panel published this entry with the image of an innocent man: “Hristo Bogdanov Georgiev, also known as The Sadist, was a Bulgarian rapist and serial killer who murdered five people, mainly women, between 1974 and 1980.” An entity (a person, a place, or a thing) can be looked up instantly in the Knowledge Panel. Information about celebrities is frequently sourced from authoritative sites, such as Wikipedia. Google might even establish direct relationships with authoritative sites to show their data in the search results.
Google Knowledge Panel isn’t infallible:
Unlike the textual information, Google’s image information does not appear to be as carefully controlled. Google’s Knowledge Panels help page states: “Images that appear in the knowledge panel can come from several sources. One source is those individuals that have claimed their knowledge panels and selected a featured image from images available on the web. Other images (especially when there is a collection of multiple images) are a preview of Google Images results for the entity and are automatically sourced from across the web.” The fact that Google uses images from across the web with an apparent lack of quality control may explain the fact that the images were mixed up. Both the serial killer and the innocent man in the serial killer Knowledge Panel are natives of Bulgaria, although the innocent man currently lives and works in Switzerland. Because their names matched and they were both from Bulgaria, it is possible that the algorithm matched the image of the innocent man to the serial killer. Based upon this, the algorithm concluded this could be a possible match for a name search.
An innocent man is framed:
In his blog post, Hristo Georgiev reported that a former colleague had emailed him to let him know that Google was showing an image of his face in Knowledge Graphs for a search query for a notorious Bulgarian serial killer. He wrote: “I quickly popped out my browser, opened Google and typed in my name. And indeed, my photo appeared over a description of a Bulgarian serial killer.” He went on to post a tweet about it. “Seems like Google falsely associated a photo of mine with a Wikipedia article of a serial killer. I don’t know if this is hilarious or terrifying”. pic.twitter.com/rmAL7uQYy4 — Hristo Georgiev (@hggeorgievcom) June 24, 2021. In the beginning, the innocent man thought he was a victim of a prank. His name is a common one, so he was confused as to why this would happen to him. “…my name isn’t special or unique at all; there are literally hundreds of other people with my name, and despite of all that, my personal photo ended up being associated with a serial killer.” A report was filed against Google over the incorrect Knowledge Panel, he wrote.