Sunday, March 31, 2013

Google: Easter Is Trivial, and the Arrogance of Information Control (Update: Chavez Opposed Illegal Immigration)

What is that you say?  Today is Easter, the most sacred of Christian holidays?  Well, one might expect that people would take note of that event, even if it has been in steadily decreasing numbers due to the political cleansing of topics such as this in the public marketplace.

Take Google for example.  They have been criticized for their tone-deaf attitude about the daily-changing art work on the web page of their search engine, their 'doodle', and how they seek to avoid commemorating dates that are important to the conservative population.  In 2007, they received criticism for skipping such holidays as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, though they had previously commemorated Bastille Day.  As a sop, they provided an appropriate piece for Memorial Day, but followed it within a week by showcasing June 6 – D-Day – as the anniversary of the first drive-in theatre.  Subtle?

So how do they portray today and its primary event?

That's right.  The Christian observance of Christ rising from the dead, the most important holiday of the Christian calendar, has to take a back seat to the birthday of Cesar Chavez.

Google is an almost persistently militant example of the Commentariat and the shaping of American opinion, too big to bother with criticism.  It insists that it is 'net neutral' yet has a CEO in the form of Eric Schmidt who approaches the industry with an appreciation of the social phenomenon of the internet, seeking out who you are, who your friends are, what you are doing, how to spend your time and where do you spend your attention, so that Google can provide a "more targeted search for you". 

If Google can manipulate your search to meet what they consider to be your needs, they can manipulate it to meet their needs as well.  After all, Schmidt went on to say in another interview with the Wall Street Journal that "I actually think that most people don't want Google to answer their questions.  They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

Why is it that whenever I research a topic that has anything to do with politics (and that's a lot), I consistently receive rankings that front load the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, NPR and the like, with the occasional Fox News (now too big to ignore) thrown in?  Google says that it is their algorithm, based on popularity, but with the American populace consistently right of center, that is becoming increasingly difficult to believe.

Maybe Bing, their principal competitor, should be the one to turn too.  They at least provided a mosaic of Easter Eggs.

Update: The word speads, but notice the line-up (as of the moment of this writing) of the articles on the subject between Google and Bing.

Update: Chris Salcedo at PJ Media provides information about Chavez, and reminds us that he was far from being the Hispanic leader as he is usually portrayed.  He was Hispanic, but his leadership was focused exclusively on being a union leader.  When it interfered with his union organizing, and reaping of union dues, then illegal immigrants be damned.

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