Google has landed in trouble after it mistakenly “predicted” the final of the Qatar World Cup.
Google announced that Brazil and France will go head-to-head for the coveted trophy weeks before kick-off has begun.
Online users for a brief time were able to see the false result when they searched for “Lusail stadium events” – Qatar’s centerpiece venue, known as the “Jewel in the Desert”.
The search engine listed Brazil vs France for the 18 December final game, as shown by a tweet shared by the account Ataque Futbolero.
“Football fans may be rushing to call this a conspiracy set up by FIFA and the world’s elites,” reported Doha News.
“Still, it’s more likely that the ‘reliable search engine’ made a juvenile mistake,” they reported.
Hours later, Google corrected the error. The New Arab found on Wednesday that “TBC v TBC” was listed for the final 18 December game.
The search engine did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication and the cause of the mistake is currently unclear.
Google has set out to tackle misinformation and only last month announced new updates to tackle the issue, with plans to publish a “content advisory” if users Googling for a given subject get poor-quality search results.
“Sometimes interest in a breaking news topic travels faster than facts, or there isn’t enough reliable information online about a given subject,” the company’s vice president Pandu Nayak previously said.
Qatar World Cup begins on 20 November when the host nation plays Ecuador.
Iran will play England on the second day, just over a week after the English Premier League shuts down mid-season.