The Google: A Synonym for Punching Bag

August 28, 2018

Here in Harrod’s Creek, we love the Google. We do have to run some queries across a number of search and retrieval systems to locate the information we seek. For example, Bing, Qwant, and even Exalead Search have been helpful this week as we prepare the lectures for an upcoming conference in Washington, DC, in a few days.

We wanted to point out two stories which seem critical of the GOOG. We have no idea if these are accurate or if the stories are confections created to — wait for it — get on the first page of Google results. Ah, the irony.

The first story is from a UK newspaper which usually adopts a less contentious approach to Google and other US online services. The story which caught our attention was “Trump News: President Claims Google Is Rigging Search Results to Make Him Look Bad.”

We learned:

“Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media,” he [President Trump] wrote on Twitter. “In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?”

Reporting Twitter messages has become a vital part of “real” journalism. Beyond Search is not convinced that the contentious discussion about Foundem, French tax returns, and similar allegations are 100 percent accurate.

We think it is interesting that Google, like Amazon, has become an issue for a US president.

The second story was “The Boss of ‘Fortnite’ Spent Days Attacking Google for Scoring ‘Cheap PR Points’ by Exposing a Flaw in the Game’s Security.” We learned from that “real” news plus MBA type analysis:

Responding to people on Twitter, Sweeney [boss of Fortnite] spent the weekend and Monday pointing out that Google was irresponsible in how quickly it revealed the flaw.

The security flaw business is an interesting one. In some locations, revealing a flaw is good news. In others, pointing out vulnerabilities in code triggers an anti-fiesta.

Several observations:

  1. Twitter plays a part in getting the message out.
  2. High profile individuals are alleging behaviors which present information retouched, shaded, or enhanced in some way
  3. The theme in both “real” news stories is that Google is not what it seems.

Flash back to the halcyon days of 2001 before the push to monetize Google. People who knew about Google loved the firm.

Times appear to have changed. Except in Harrod’s Creek, of course.

Stephen E Arnold, August 28, 2018


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