GENERATION X - GIMME SOME TRUTH
This, of course, is not good for a flow of information for a free society. It reeks of information control such as was written in George Orwell's 1984. This means that Google will now become our own Ministry of Truth.
The Register.co.uk reports:
Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.
Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that:
The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program.
A few years ago, Google's apparently unimpeachable objectivity got some people very excited, and technology utopians began to herald Google as the conduit for a new form of democracy. Google was only too pleased to encourage this view. It explained that its algorithm "relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. "
That Google was impartial was one of the articles of faith. For if Google was ever to be found to be applying subjective human judgment directly on the process, it would be akin to the voting machines being rigged.
It wasn't surprising, then, that when five years ago I described how a small, self-selected number of people could rig Google's search results, the reaction from the people doing the rigging was violently antagonistic. Who lifted that rock? they cried.
But what was once Googlewashing by a select few now has Google's active participation.
This is a terrible result. This means that Google will empower a few people to oversee editorial decisions as to what article get high search results and the rest? The rest head down the black hole.
Well, I guess most people will shrug their shoulders and say, "It's okay with me. I'm doing nothing wrong so I don't care. After all, we've always been at war with Eastasia."
This is a sad day in the history of information and what could be the darkest hour of the Internet and our right to freedom of speech.
I register my protest and will stop using Google search (you'll also need to stop using Yahoo! Search engine too.) I urge you to do the same. From this very second on, I will set my default search engine page to Bing.
But you don't need to use Bing. There are many others. Just please join us in our peaceful protest against Internet censorship by switching from Google search. If you don't protect your freedom of information and freedom of speech, no one is going to do it for you.