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  • Hello there and good morning, good afternoon, good evening depending on wherever you are. Today were

  • going to look at a website every one of us has definitely used in our lifetime, the massive

  • machine that is Google.

  • The first ever website came in 1991 and Google launched in 1998. In 2013, there were 672

  • million active websites with 2.7 billion internet users worldwide. That’s four users per website.

  • It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for search engines and aggregators, factors have to be

  • taken into account to rank pages higher according to relevance.

  • In 2007, Google beat Microsoft to become the most visited site on the web and has been

  • ever since, closely followed by facebook and YouTube.

  • What goes on behind the scenes are things called algorithms that are defined as “a

  • computable set of steps to achieve a desired result.” Google’s famed prominence is

  • down to a patented algorithm called PageRank that helps rank web pages in search engine

  • results and the name comes from one of Google’s founders Larry Page.

  • According to Google, “PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to

  • a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. Algorithms are computer

  • programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.”

  • PageRank is one of over 200 invisible algorithms amongst other criteria that Google are known

  • to notoriously protect, the specifics of which are kept secret to beat off competition, or

  • eradicate other sites by giving a lower page ranking and help Google maintain an edge over

  • its competitors globally.

  • And it seems it will remain confidential as Eric Schmidt, the Execuitive chairman of Google

  • had this to say in 2010.

  • This is why YouTube and Gmail are so successful. Moz say if you promote content on Google+

  • it will do better than other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Even after

  • Googling Moz today Moz ads are now appearing throughout my web searches.

  • If I search for something online and you search the exact same thing now at the time, we would

  • get very different results. There is no standard Google and we can’t see how our search results

  • are different from others.

  • But what relevance is this? These sites notice what we click on so advertisers can target

  • us and pay to appear at the top of the search bar without even consulting us, deciding what

  • we are shown. Governments can control and show information that they want.

  • On June 2nd this year, Google was blocked in China for the two days leading up to, during

  • and after the 25th anniversary of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. The Chinese

  • government was behind the block, targeting Google’s search engine and Gmail. GreatFire,

  • an online censorship group in China said," because the block lasted for four days, it's

  • more likely that Google will be severely disrupted and barely usable from now on.”

  • The internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, or is it? In a broadcast society,

  • the editors controlled and were criticised for what stories were covered and what stories

  • they chose to ignore. The internet changed that. You don’t get to decide what gets in or what

  • gets filtered out. So control has been passed onto algorithms on Google, Facebook, Twitter

  • and so on.

  • There have been no ethics to algorithms...until the right to be forgotten ruling in the European

  • Court of Justice this May. The court said links to irrelevant and outdated data should be

  • on request. Google said it would assess each request and balance "privacy rights of the

  • individual with the public's right to know and distribute information."

  • So should Google and its algorithms forget us? Earlier this week Wikipedia’s founder

  • Jimmy Wales swore to fight censorship and the right to be forgotten ruling. He is one

  • of ten people appointed to a panel charged with drawing up guidance for search engines

  • on how to handle requests to remove links to web pages under the right to be forgotten

  • legislation. The panel also funnily enough includes Google’s Eric Schmidt and David

  • Drummond.

  • Wales said Google had been asked to remove five links that were on Wikipedia in the past

  • week and as a result Wikipedia decided to publish these notices online here. They included

  • articles from search results of an image of young man playing a guitar, a page about Gerry

  • Hutch, a former criminal and a page about Rento Vallanzasca, an Italian gangster.

  • Google revealed last month that it had received more than 91,000 requests to delete a combined

  • total of 328,000 links under Europe's right to be forgotten ruling.

  • So does Google have algorithms to promote one site over another? Are they controlling

  • what exactly what we search for? Do you have any examples of this you have come across?

  • The lack of competition is great for Google’s revenue and a company is yet to take them

  • on. Perhaps Apple should give it a go. Oh yes, I went there. You know where to let me

  • know your thoughts. My video on Putin and his $40billion fortune from last week is here.

  • Get subscribed if youre not already here. See you with a very special guest next Friday.

Hello there and good morning, good afternoon, good evening depending on wherever you are. Today were

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Does Google control what you see and the right to be forgotten online? - Truthloader

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    Karen Chan posted on 2015/11/15
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