Google is considering the possibility of “filtering out” politically incorrect and controversial sites by adding a Truth TM ranking for their search results. It is hubris unbounded — oh hear ye, Google ranks truth for humanity! Fergoodnesssake, the narcissism of it.
It might be a “truth” ranking in Orwellian Newspeak but everyone knows that translates as being whatever government and biggest man in the room decides is true. Like every organization which silences debate and censors ideas, it will be superseded in a flash by those who don’t.
Why would Google even toy with a move that makes it as much fun as a sterilized encyclopedia? Too big for their boots — do they think They Are The Net?
By alienating the most active sector of the Net — the creative, high-risk thinkers — the buzz of the web will shift. It will become known that Google is the place to go for official boredom, and safe state propaganda. Moms and dads will send the kids to do school projects on Google, while all the adults go somewhere else. Google-fawn will become Google-yawn.
The driving lifeblood of the Internet are the people debating and hunting for the forbidden — the controversial and unpopular theories. The most motivated searchers and most passionate writers want to share exactly the kind of information the mainstream already filters out. (Otherwise, why bother?) Consider how many Bloggies the climate skeptics won compared to the officially approved competition — one unskeptical site had the entire official world behind them but lamely bailed even though the skeptic vote was divided four ways. So if Google takes the Blue Pill, it will be giving up the “edge”, and standing smack in the boring safe middle of official nothingness.
Ideas will always seek an outlet. On any computer, Google is only a click away from being replaced.
Even the Soviet Union eventually fell, simply because too many people just stopped believing in it.
Instead of letting humans figure out what is junk on the Internet, Google wonders if it can do it for them. The narcissism of believing they have the formula that beats three billion brains will be Google’s undoing.
PS: The Bloggies are on again. Thanks to those who nominated so many skeptical sites. Vote now!
Don’t forget to check your email to confirm the vote.