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Can search engine rankings swing elections?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 07:49 pm
Came across this article the other day: Can search engine rankings swing elections?

It's an interesting subject and the piece makes a few good, if also fairly obvious, observations. For example when it points at the inherent risks of a near-monopolistic player like Google controlling a utility as universally used as web search. Or at the pitfalls of our increasing dependence on algorithms in terms of the news and information we see, and the problematic nature of how those are widely portrayed or perceived as representing some kind of superior objectivity.

But there's something about the whole thing that just feels off to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, though, beyond its use of glib acronyms and such, and how I feel it engages in too much hyperbole. I just kind of come away with the impression that the author either doesn't truly understand the nature of what he's discussing or, more likely, let confirmation bias get the best of him in an understandable desire to make striking claims and identify conclusive evidence. But all of that's more of an intuitive reaction on my part, really, than something I can really argue. What do you think about what he says?
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