Rice University logo
Top blue bar image
"We're still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution." – Scott Cook

Algorithmic Gatekeepers of Hell

Eli Pariser, the man behind the filter bubble theory, wants us to stay challenged. He feels that Google and Facebook are censoring what we see on the internet.  According to Pariser, algorithmic gatekeepers working behind the scenes have profiled our interests and sold us out to the highest bidding advertiser. The ads and search engine results that we see are not created equal. When I search for Houston weather, my results may be different than when you search for Houston weather. (?) We see only what Google and Facebook want us to see.  Facebook and Google now have the power to control our thinking by manipulating our search results on the internet. All those ads you see about the last thing you purchased on the internet — well that is no coincidence. Everyone knows that you buy and wear shoes now.

Should we feel outraged? Violated? Oppressed?  Some say yes. DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com/), a search engine that doesn’t track its users, provides this (anti-Google) visual tutorial on tracking:

Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil,” and they claim to be working 24/7 to keep our search results highly relevant:

I have found more anti-Google search engines:

blekko:  Launched in 2010 has results gathered from a set of 3 billion trusted webpages and excludes content farms. They even have a Web Search Bill of Rights.  They also have a unique feature called custom slashtags:  a tool used to filter search results and helps you to search only high quality sites.

Volunia: Remember the guy who invented Hyper Search technology? No? It is Massimo Marchiori.  He created this search engine in 12 languages. Volunia differs from normal search engines in that, while it crawls the web and indexes websites, it builds the ranking using the comments and opinions of other users. Chat and comments are allowed on every webpage! You can chat with a profile or anonymously. It also has a “fly-over” map visualization system and we know how important those are….

Wolfram Alpha: It is as weird as it sounds. “It is more than a search engine. It gives you access to the world’s facts and data and calculates answers across a range of topics,” including the first line of the tenth chapter in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

Yossarian Lives: It is even weirder than it sounds. It is a metaphorical search engine. Truthfully, I actually tried to do a metaphorical search on the internet recently and it didn’t work. It never occurred to me to look for a metaphorical search engine. Now I know.


Comments are closed.