Friday, March 5, 2010

Search Neutrality: Major Internet Issue

"He who controls what you read controls what you think."

The next big issue isn't "net neutrality," a bad, liberal idea, but rather search neutrality. If you're a blogger or other online communicator, I hope you'll begin talking about search neutrality, a necessary step in bringing basic fairness to Internet searches -- the kind you and I engage in every day. [Please feel free to use this article on your own blog.]

The Red State story below (in italics) explains search neutrality. It's about presenting information -- links -- fairly -- without corporate bias.

We avoid supporting search neutrality at our peril, because without it one company -- Google -- will completely control the search engine business. Currently, Google dominates "search" in America and increasingly in the world. Its share of that business is a staggering 80%.

Because we read what search engines find for us, Google can determine what we know about any particular subject.

Does Google conduct its search business wisely and fairly? Short answer: absolutely not. It highlights its commercial sponsors, "bumps up" companies it likes, and features stories in line with its own political and social biases.

Have you ever wondered why all the stories hostile to Gov. Sarah Palin (including outright lies) make it to the front page in a Google search? And have you ever wondered why the pro-Palin stories seems to find their way to page 11, the one almost no one ever finds? Google has a love affair with The Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Democratic Underground, Washington Post, and New York Times, none of them every confused with admirers of Gov. Palin -- or other conservatives.

As the Red State essay shows, Google also uses its control to drive out companies that it doesn't favor. That's unfair. It's anti-competitive. And it's a terrible abuse of power.

Yes, Google is relentlessly liberal -- with its CEO being a major fan of (and contributor) to the increasingly unloved Barack Hussein Obama. And yes, there's growing evidence that Google is malevolent.

But rather than hurling curses at it, we should focus on the need for search neutrality, for basic fairness. Of course, "fairness" is the last thing a market dominator wants. Google wants to be Gargantua. It wants to "filter" what goes into your head.

Google's biases against certain companies (see RedState piece below) are the focus of attention of stories that are just beginning to appear. But Google is manipulating everyone who uses it. Please feel free to link the following Red State story on your own blog:

Don’t Be Evil*” redhk's Diary “Don’t Be Evil*” Friday, March 5th at 1:55PM EST

Google’s corporate motto suggests an almost altruistic mission. However, the reality is much different from the brand’s manicured image.

Recently here at RedState, ericathunderpaws wrote an open letter to Google outlining its censorship of search results critical of Islam, statist politics and the Chinese government. But this week, the New York Times brought to light the fact that Google doesn’t only use it’s overwhelming power to censor speech–apparently Google has now deemed itself worthy of deciding which small businesses thrive or fail.

After a 30-year career in the law, Dominique Barella left his job as president of the main union for French judges in 2006 and started a Web site,, that lets users search for legal resources in France.…[W]ithin a few months, it was attracting up to 20,000 visitors a day and selling a modest amount of advertising.That, Mr. Barella says, is when the trouble with Google began.

Overnight, traffic plunged — because, Mr. Barella says, the company stopped indexing pages from for inclusion in Google’s search engine.

If Google can effectively shut down a small business, which, arguably, isn’t even in competition with Google, what restraint DOES the company have?

In the late ’90s, the Department of Justice took Microsoft to court over the bundling of their Internet Explorer browser with the Windows OS. At the time, the company had about 85% of the OS market share and, Justice charged, it used that power to shut out competitors. Today, Google’s market share of search engine queries hovers around 80%.

Surely Google’s programming of their search algorithm to censor political speech and strong-arm small businesses throughout the world deserves a government inquiry. And if it is found that the world’s most-used search provider is employing a command-and-control strategy for the Internet, it must answer for its actions.

Again, feel free to use this story on your own blog. Thanks, as always, for visiting.

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