This summarizes recent research showing that the details of links provided by search engines can strongly influence political opinions formed from the results. Any search company could bias an election by 20% among people using that service, according to these results.
Google and Youtube have sufficient information on my search and reading habits that they could easily categorize me by political opinion on some range of issues. NSA certainly does, and the same data is available to both either by NSA’s hoovering of my network interactions or by Google’s views of the emails I send and receive, and these web pages, should Google’s omniscience engine connect them. That is not so far-fetched, I think, I link them in making comments on many web site, I can think of a lot of ways for Google to have learned the pairings.
Given that multi-dimensional political ranking as values available when preparing a list of links to a search I asked for, do you suppose Google could? Don’t they do exactly that for ads? Don’t they already intersperse ads and search results?
Now, how will Google convince us that it has NOT added that term to it’s PageRank algorithm? VW’s using different algorithms only had to detect the conditions of an emissions test, but maybe Google’s Omniscience engine is up to the challenge of knowing the patterns of searching for evidence of the modified PageRank in returned lists?
Quite a modern version of Ken Thompson’s compiler hack.
Added less than 24 hours later, the inevitable link suggesting this is not that crazy. ‘That I suggest suggests this is not crazy’, to be accurate and to make you think I am an honest guy. Sucker.
Also, thinking about this with my son, we can’t see an obvious way to know whether any source of information is doing this if the source changes search results returned to individuals for any reason. Which Google does.
This comment :
Dont even bother.. The Guardian is so pro Hilary its not even a joke. Check out Google search.. if you search for Trump – Google of course leads the front page with always negative Trump articles and severely unflattering Trump photos. Now search Hilary front page. Compare. I am no Trump fan but I really hate the way Hilarys private emails have been censored by google .. and the zero lack of attack by the Guardian
From this article :
caught my eye. I am not the only one suspicious.
This is relatively-easily defeated, you run through a ‘pooling’ intermediate google-replacement that queries Google and Bing and DuckDuckGo and .. and interleaves them or ??as many different things as you could want, including running statistics on the content and comparing them. I am pretty sure I have read about services that do that.
There is a web service here, as soon as content analysis is strong enough, and that is close. so those will define a standard query result, independent of any ‘personalization’ that Google or Bing or … add. And you get to personalize this service for your needs, may have a different one for different hats. So that is too obvious an idea, and I am a lagging indicator, probably remembering something I read.
I have to explain again, honestly Honest as I honestly am, that you shouldn’t be at all impressed with how easy it is for me to find, and go on finding, things that support parts of my argument. That prompts the idea of an experiment. I am going to write something that is genuinely stupid, and then find support for them. Problem is, if it is political stupid, how trivial, there is every variety of politically stupid you can imagine, without even having to stretch meanings of words. For anything else, it has to be at least tangentially-connected to some reality. But, I already did that. See the Biology stuff. I even had a new thought about support for that, which I will now go and add. (Honestly honest as I am, I didn’t make that connection until writing it. Lots of supports could be added to that, I find them frequently.)
Robert Epstein is a major researcher who claims it is much worse than I suspected.