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Google blocks answers about elections on Gemini AI

Google has blocked Gemini, its generative AI, from answering questions related to the 2024 U.S. election — and also in countries with elections scheduled for the coming months. Those in the United States and India are already barred from receiving AI responses about the election period for as long as it lasts. It is expected that other nations that have important elections will also receive this restriction.

Residents of other countries who ask questions about another nation’s elections will continue to receive answers.

Gemini only “crashes” when candidates are asked for the elections or about a possible candidate. If you ask about the pre-candidates, he opens the verb and becomes almost a political analyst (even saying that Marta Suplicy is in the PT, but that there is uncertainty about her return to the PT).

In these crashes, he tells you that he is still learning about the subject and asks you to search through traditional Google search. This is the same answer he delivers in the United States.

We got Gemini to answer “Who is Guilherme Bolos” (correct is Boulos) and “Who is Thabata Amaral?” (Tabata is the correct one) — both are pre-candidates for mayor of São Paulo.

Google commented on the restriction on its blog for India. The company explains that, given the importance of the matter, it has opted for the “abundance of caution”. “We have a responsibility to provide high-quality information for these responses and continue to work to improve our protections,” Google said in the statement.

This restriction will raise a controversy, with one side defending and the other accusing Google of violating freedom of expression. But it is necessary to evaluate the context: in February, Gemini responded to a query saying that Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, was a fascist.

Since these generative AIs use what is published on the web to generate responses, it is likely that Google has also chosen to avoid problems for its side. Thus, Gemini will not be able to accuse any other politicians, saving the company from retaliation from some country.

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