Google is the largest search engine in America, thus controlling the vast majority of the information we get about the world around us. With all the firings of those guilty of wrong-think, YouTube censorship, and suspected search result manipulation, people have been losing their trust in the search engine’s ability to dole out information fairly.
A July survey shows that just over half of Google users believe that the results for any given search are biased to the left according to Digital Examiner.
Digital Examiner asked 1000 different people eight different questions, one of which was “do you think Google search results are biased in any way?”
According to respondents, 52 percent of those asked said they thought Google’s search results were biased.
Digital Examiner pointed out that a lot of this belief that Google is biased stems from several recent occurrences that paint Google with a very leftist light, including the sight’s alleged slant toward Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections.
The fact that over half of web users feel Google search is biased might well be a residual effect of the 2016 election when a highly publicized claim that Google was selectively eliminatingnegative autocomplete suggestions about Hillary Clinton. Google responded to the criticism claiming that “the autocomplete algorithm is designed to avoid completing a search for a person’s name with terms that are offensive or disparaging”. Google’s defense was met with skepticism by distinguished research psychologist Robert Epstein who stated that “the way their statement is worded is that they eliminate all negatives for everybody, and that is positively not true.”
“Behind every algorithm is always a person, a person with a set of personal beliefs that no code can ever completely eradicate,” said Swedish author and journalist Andreas Ekström who said an unbiased search engine is an impossibility.
Whether or not it’s simply a person, or person’s algorithm, Google still has been known to show serious bias in the past. Award winning YouTuber, Phillip DeFranco, claimed he was recently punished by Google for not creating a pro-Clinton video during the election season.
Recently fired Google employee, James Damore, exposed Google’s bias toward a leftist social justice agenda, and exposed potentially illegal activity on Google’s part in their “diversity” efforts.
Frankly, it’s a wonder that suspicion of Google’s bias in search results isn’t higher, but using Google’s own trend tracker, we can see that suspicion is steadily growing.
Despite this increase in suspected bias, DE highlighted that 72.3 percent of people still believe in the accuracy of Google’s search results.
Some have begun to attempt to peel the public dependence off of Google by using different search engines, and utilizing plugins to choke Google’s information absorption. The plans range from breaking the trust between Google and advertisers by manipulating click data to read false interests from users to installing different browsers with plug-ins that block Google’s ability to track your web travel.