Let me clarify here, and see if you agree. Allow me to specify a small example, which may help.
Imagine that Google have a classifier where they scan documents for “bad words”, and if there are more than 10 “bad words” in a document, that document is classified as a “bad document” and can’t be shared. (Leave aside whether this whole concept would be a bad idea to exist at all; assume for the moment that this is a legitimate thing to do and we all agree with it.) So the code to do this would look something like this:
bad_words = ["terrorism", "nazi", "explosion", "white power", "child porn"]
count_of_bad_words = this_document.occurrences(bad_words)
if count_of_bad_words > 10 then document.is_bad_document = true
I think that a misclassification would be adding something unjustified to the “bad words” list: for example, someone decides to suppress documents with the word “homosexual” in them, out of some misguided attempt to “protect” children.
I think a bug would be accidentally typoing the
if line and writing 1 where they meant to write 10, so the code looks like this:
if count_of_bad_words > 1 then document.is_bad_document = true
The distinction, in my mind, is that a misclassification means that the suppressed documents are being correctly suppressed according to Google’s current rules – they want them suppressed – but their rules are too general or too inaccurate, and the way to fix this is to say “ah, we thought all documents that matched this ruleset were bad documents, but it turns out we were wrong about that, and so we are revising our ruleset”.
A bug, on the other hand, means that Google do not want the current documents suppressed, and the issue is not with the set of rules, but with the code that’s implementing them; the fix is to update the code so it does what was intended in the first place.
If I have your characterisation correct, then this means that you think that Google drew up their rules for suppressing documents incorrectly, and they nee to change their ruleset because it has unexpected consequences. Whereas I think that Google’s ruleset wouldn’t have suppressed these documents in the first place and the issue is that the ruleset isn’t being correctly followed. My reasons for believing this are, basically, that I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. This may not be justified, and if it turns out that you’re right and they drew up a ruleset which suppressed innocent documents because they didn’t think it through enough, then I would not be wholly surprised.
I think we’re both in agreement that these documents are not being deliberately and explicitly suppressed and that’s because that’s exactly how Google want it, right? It is some measure of mistake, although whether a tactical or a strategic mistake is still undetermined.