- May 2019
- I wanted to highlight the previous sentence as well, but for some reason it wouldn't let me*
I understand why the author is troubled by the campaign's opinion of "It's not the search engines fault". It makes it seem as if there was nothing that could be done to stop promoting those ideas, and that if something is popular it will just have to be the result at the top.
This can be problematic, as people who were not initially searching that specific phrase may click through to read racist, sexist, homophobic, or biased information (to just name a few) that perpetuates inaccuracies and negative stereotypes. It provides easier access into dangerous thinking built on the foundations of racism, sexism, etc.
If the algorithms are changed or monitored to remove those negative searches, the people exposed to those ideas would decrease, which could help tear down the extreme communities that can build up from them.
While I do understand this view, I also think that system can be helpful too. All the search engine does is reflect the most popular searches, and if negative ideals are what people are searching, then we can become aware and direct their paths to more educational and unbiased sources. It could be interesting to see what would happen if someone clicked on a link that said "Women belong in the kitchen", that led them to results that spoke about equality and feminism.