You can see why the alarm bells are going off over at the National Review:
Google plans to bias its search engines in favor of the supposedly
factual accuracy of the sites to which it links. From the New Scientist
THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites
make the front page of Google, and fact-free “news” stories spread like
wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their
Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a
web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search
results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This
system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the
downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the
rankings, if enough people link to them.
Don't tell me -- that'd be like the ones that throw scare quotes around "facts"? Just wondering. Anyway, this is a matter of profound concern for Buckley's heirs:
As the old saying goes, there are facts–and then, there are facts.
These days a lot of things are called “facts” that aren’t–often
surrounding heated political and cultural controversies.
That is why I think Google’s plan will open the door for profound
political, cultural, or ideological bias in what should be a neutral
function. Perhaps that is the point.
Imagine a world in which links to Fox and Drudge -- and for that matter, the National Review itself -- weren't cyber-mistaken for votes in favor of their credibility.
Labels: drudge, fox, national review