Thursday, October 21, 2004

Google, tool of terrorists and the right wing.

Being that Google owns Blogger, which publishes this blog, perhaps I should clarify that it is the tool of conscientious terrorists....
Terrorists who kidnapped an Australian TV reporter in Baghdad and threatened to kill him Googled his name on the Internet to investigate his work before deciding to release him unharmed.

John Martinkus was seized early Saturday and held for about 24 hours.

Martinkus' producer, Mike Carey, said the kidnap thugs "checked on him to see if he was who he said he was. They Googled him and then went onto a Web site . . . and saw that he was who he was and that was instrumental in letting him go." (NY Post)

But can we so easily explain away allegations that Google News is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy?
Is Google News Biased?

Respected online journalism observer J.D. Lasica has penned a thought-provoking piece in the Online Journalism review comparing Google News with Yahoo News. Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories compares Google News, which uses computer algorithms to identify top stories, and Yahoo News which favors old-fashioned human editors. Lasica wonders, do Google's automated search results display a conservative bias? ...

He spoke with Krishna Bharat, chief scientist for Google News, who said he was puzzled by reports that the service has been skewing politically in one direction. "The algorithms do not understand which sources are right-leaning or left-leaning," Bharat said. "They're apolitical, which is good."

Algorithms may be apolitical, but the human beings that write them are not... (Search Engine News)
Aw, c'mon. Google News is a search bot. You compare the product generated by human editors at Yahoo to that produced by an automated search bot and conclude that the bot is biased?