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Saturday 9 September 2017

Google turning to dark side!

Has Google turned to the "dark side"? Has it forsaken its much vaunted motto "Don't be Evil"?

Given recent evidence of its enforced "group think" and its filtering of search results to sustain a political agenda, it is hard to conclude otherwise.

In his article "When Google silences dissent it bodes badly for the rest of us", Haiwatha Bray highlights the collective mindset that ensures conformity of opinion. They recently fired James Damore for an internal memo that argued , contrary to accepted dogma within Gooogle, that the over-representation of males within Google may indeed be because of genetic differences between the sexes. It seems you cannot even voice an opinion contrary to company 'groupthink". So he was let go.

What does this mean for the society that relies on Google to serve up search results without fear or favour.
"After the firing of Damore, how can we trust them to be honest brokers of information when they won’t tolerate dissent in their own ranks?"
We can't. Moreover there is ample evidence that Google is already tampering with search results to improve the profile of organisations they favour and to reduce the profile of those they do not.

Several studies have proven this to be the case. (see "Does Google content degrade Google search results? and "Does Google tamper search results for its own benefit?" )

The ethos of an organisation that sacks a worker for having the wrong opinion, or one that manipulates the results of its search engines in its favor is corrupt. Given the economic and social power that Google wields through it extensive tentacles into the e-world we have a serious problem.

The old saying that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind. With regard to its search engine Google operates virtually as a monopoly. It is now exploiting this position enhance its power. What should a free enterprise economy do with a monopoly? Break it up into competing pieces. It has been done before and perhaps it is time to do it again.

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