In two scathing Guardian articles, this week and last, Carole Cadwalladr outlines how right wing extremists have gamed the Google algorithm in order to present Holocaust denial and vitriolic anti-Semitism as “authoritative” internet responses to “Did the Holocaust happen?” and “Are Jews evil?”
In her December 11 “Google is not just a platform” she tells how her, and everyone’s, internet searching is shaped by the internet and how the internet goliath profits from every ad served on racist right-wing entries.
In “Google, democracy and the truth about internet search” from last week she talks about the threat posed by the search engine’s abrogation of responsibility. It’s not just a threat to civility but to history and democracy.
This isn’t a secret Nazi cell lurking in the shadows. It’s hiding in plain sight.
Never mind “fake news” this is fake history colonizing the top ten of your Jewish searches with hate speech. Cadwalladr calls Google to task as “Responsible.”
Google writes the code that drives the algorithm that returns the results. How they write this code, what they use to assess authority and credibility, how that enables Stormfront to spread its lies and spew its poison is entirely its responsibility.
Dan Friedman is the managing editor of the Forward. Follow him on Twitter at @danfriedmanme
Dan Friedman is the executive editor of the Forward. But when he’s not doing that, he’s writing a book about the rock band Tears for Fears.