Google Squared Hates Conservatives

This is sad.Does google hate conservatives?

If I had to answer that based on what I’ve seen over the last year, and especially today – I would have to say……YES.

Before I get into what I perceive as blatant bias from Google against certain political views, I want to let you know that I didn’t plan on writing a post about this topic.   I had originally thought that I would do some weird searches on google squared to see if I could get any whacked out or interesting results that I could share  – well, to that end, I guess they ARE interesting. And disturbing.

I’m just going to cut to the chase.

After running a bunch of different names and topics through squared (type in google, keep adding the recommendation squares and you get back hilltop algorithm, for example), I was actually having fun, and thinking how great this would be for doing school reports, or discovering hot topics related to my clients’ service offerings.

I wanted to see how good squared was at grabbing recent events, so I typed in Obama – which presented this (click each image to view larger):

I'm sure they would have wrapped this square in a heart if they could.

I'm sure Google would have wrapped this square in a heart if they could.

Pretty cool. It includes members of his cabinet and campaign committee. Not bad.

Then I typed in George Bush and got this:

I'm sure they didn't MEAN to put a disrespectful picture here. yeah, right.

I'm sure they didn't MEAN to put a disrespectful picture here. yeah, right.

You’re kidding me, right? THAT’s the picture that google returns for George Bush? It doesn’t even SAY George Bush next to it, and it’s the 1st square on the page! I’m not a huge fan of George Bush, but I think he deserves a bit more respect than that. It’s got to be a fluke, so I move on – to Bill Clinton. If someone’s going to have interesting pictures associated with a president, I can’t think of a better choice….

Gotta love the unbiased description

Gotta love the unbiased description

Well hang on. It looks like an actual presidential photo. And nothing on Monica? hmph. What about his VP, Al Gore…..

they inconveniently left out his creation of the internet.

they inconveniently left out his creation of the internet.

Besides the fact that I had to MANUALLY put Al Gore into a square at the bottom, since Google has a tough time when you include first and last name sometimes, this is pretty much what I think most people would expect. To see how Squared treats Bush’s VP, Dick Cheney – just look at the image at the beginning of this post.

I’m not one to just immediately jump to conclusions though, so I go for one more – this time, Ronald Reagan.

This makes me want to throw up, it's so disrespectful.

This makes me want to throw up, it's so disrespectful.

Ok, it’s pretty hard NOT to think they’re being deliberately biased when you see results like that. Still, there’s always a chance that the “secret google algorithm” is pulling the most popular results from image search, so I go ahead and check to see….

Think the image is retreived by most popular result? think again.

Think the image is retreived by most popular result? think again.

Guess we can mark that as a big NO.

To sum things up – I really could care less what side of the political fence you’re on, and I think Google does 80-90% of everything right. But, with each year, Google grows a bit larger and a bit more powerful – so we need to keep things in check.  I’ll let Mr. Reagan end this post with a couple of very pertinent quotes…

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right
is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

Think I’m way off base? Have examples that show bias towards liberals? Let me know by leaving a comment!- I’m open to discussion!

*disclaimer: the thoughts and views represented in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of my company or clients. 🙂

How to Lose $100,000.00 for Critizing Google

What’s that saying? Oh yeah-

“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

Don't Give them Money...or Else We'll Lower your PageRank

Don't Give them Money...or Else We'll Lower your PageRank

Apparently, our “do no evil” company (Google), is turning to the dark side with the recent revelation that Bob Boorstin, Google’s director of policy communications, sent an email to a charity group (Rose Foundation) asking them not to donate funds to Consumer Watchdog, a patient’s rights advocacy organization that had accused Google last month of lobbying Congress for the right to sell patient’s medical records. Boorstin asked the Rose Foundation in the email to “consider whether there might be better groups in which to place your trust and resources.

The Center for Digital Democracy chimed in on this as well, with executive director Jeff Chester stating-
Google’s letter sends a strong message to the foundation world that they shouldn’t support groups that question the company.”

Associate director Lillie Coney of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said she was “speechless” that Google would attempt to cut off a group’s funding. Um…yeah, no kidding.

This came to light when the Rose foundation replied to Boorstin’s request (demand, threat, whatever…) and CC’ed Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court, who publicized it earlier this week. Boorstin (who worked as Clinton’s national security speechwriter, and was once a reporter for the New York Times) gave a half hearted apology for sending the email, prefaced with a long-winded comment about how Consumer Watchdog’s allegations are baseless and were only thrown out there to attract media attention. Google vehemently denied the claim on their corporate policy blog.

Hmmm….so Google’s brilliant solution was to strong arm or coerce a charity organization?!

I thought it would be interesting to see what else Boorstin has said in the past that may give us insight into how his mind works, and I came across this-a discussion from Bob about the effects of the internet on politics. Here’s just a FEW snippets of what he said, from June 2008:

  • Internet means that anyone is free to publish the truth as they see it.

  • The Internet offers new ways to break the monopoly on information…..faster and easier now to catch both politicians and governments when they make mistakes or try to cover things up – and hold them accountable.

  • Users of the Internet – are not shy. Now about 113 million blogs. (wonder how many of those will be mentioning you this week.)
  • The Internet has helped create new political voices and networks –Nowhere more clear than in the United States with the Obama campaign – fundraising, volunteers, and dissemination of message.

  • trend – the Internet has created the potential for a fundamental shift in power.

  • trend – one of the biggest impacts of the growth of the Internet is a loss of control among traditional institutions of power.

  • and in the “Freedom of Expression as a Security Issue” workshop held in Paris at the UN Internet Governance Forum, November 2007 – Boorstin “stressed that his company always tries to maximize freedom of expression for all users…”

….except those that criticize us.(i said that.)
Read more about the story here: Publications Google Tries To Kibosh Funding Of Critic 02/25/2009