Recent articles in the news are somewhat disconcerting. It is postulated that search engine algorithms may skew our elections in favor of one candidate over another. If that is true, we are in big trouble.
The question is how much trust do we have in our search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing? How do we know the results of our searches are the most accurate and relevant? Who decides? These are all good and interesting questions.
We all know companies have biases just as individuals and the media. We also know money can buy access. It happens on a daily basis when you search for an item on Google. The company with the most prominent displays appears on the first screen and most likely they pay for such access. We also know some ads on Google are based on your preferences and search history. In other words, the search results are personalized to your account.
The Next Level
What if they can be used to influence an election? The claim by some is that the search results on political candidates can be skewed.
Remember years ago, we had something called a Google Bomb. When people search "miserable failure", the first result was GW Bush's biography.
The technology to do this is readily available. If someone wants to pick and choose what news articles are presented first on a search, it is possible. How can we be sure it is not being done already?
How To Combat This?
As individual citizens, we have the power to change this. Once we are aware of what may be happening, it is easy to spot them and report them. That is how we can stop this. Once the Google Bomb of President Bush was publicized, it lead to Google to change their policy and address it.
I am going to give these search engine company the benefit of doubt. If things seems odd, it may be due to the uniqueness of their algorithm. However, if the skew becomes obvious, something else is going on. The elite media have very little respect for the average person. They think they can hurdle the masses to their way of thinking.
We are watching you.
Google and support for Hillary
Eric Schmidt of Google has started a new initiative called The Groundwork. It is a secret operation in support of Hillary for President. what does it do? Hard to say. Checkout it's website here.
We all want a better government and honest and capable officials. In order to the electoral process to work, we need an honest media. The free flow of ideas and information should not and cannot be filtered. A search engine is a key component. Ultimately, their reputation and credibility in on the line. A search engine cannot be "biased" or else it is worthless.
A useful tool I found compares the search results of bing and google side by side. Check it out in the link below.
Sample Screen Capture of BVSG Search "Ben Carson"
Some Related Information
- Google Transparency Project
- Politicians are failing us, says Google's Eric Schmidt | Technology | The Guardian
Tech firm chairman denies plans for career in politics and says leaders are 'unaccountable yet unable to effect change'
- Google’s latest product: Google Politics; POLITICO
Opponents wary of the Internet giant's olive branch.
- Google bomb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Google Search Algorithm Steal Presidency?
The magical accuracy of search engine results may be the worst thing to happen to democracy since unfettered campaign donations.
- Bing vs. Google
Bing versus Google: A side-by-side comparison.
© 2015 Jack Lee