Google Accused of Censorship

March 13, 2018

Google, Facebook, and other social media and news outlets are concerned with fake news.  They have taken preliminary measures to curb false, but Live Mint says, “Google Is Filtering News For The Wrong Reason.”  Google, like other news outlets and social media platforms, is a business. While it delivers products and services, its entire goal is to turn a profit.  Anything that affects the bottom line, such as false information, is deemed inappropriate.

Google deemed the Russian government-owned news Web sites RT and Sputnik as false information generators, so the search engine giant has reworked its ranking algorithm.  The new ranking algorithm pushes RT and Sputnik way down in news searches.  Live Mint explained that this made RT and Sputnik victims, but Google does not want to ban these Web sites.  Instead, Google has other ideas:

Schmidt’s words are a riff on an April post by Google vice president of engineering Ben Gomes, who teased changes to how Google searches for news. New instructions targeted “deceptive web pages” that look like news but seek to “manipulate users” with conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and inaccurate information. ‘We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content,’ Gomes wrote.

The author makes a poignant argument about why it is bad for businesses to alter their services, such as a news aggregator, to avoid bad press and increase regulation on them.  He also argues that false information Web sites are harmful, but it is not Google’s responsibility to censor them.

It is a good point, but when people take everything printed on the Internet as fact someone has to take the moral argument to promote the truth.

Whitney Grace, March 13, 2018


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