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What is the Internet trying to hide from users?

The Internet is the most complete collection of knowledge that man has ever had, but is this immensity a privilege or a poison? Is too large a source of information depreciated? How many layers of valuable information are buried under useless data?

Computer security concept

In the New York Times, editorialist Rahad Manjoo posed the question: Suppose we were looking for a famous person, an influential person in the community, or a politician or an expert, to get the answer. will be the word. What do we get is a general picture of human life or a distorted abstract picture?

Google currently prioritizes the display of its search results based on three criteria:

1. Chronological: Google focuses more on highlighting information from the present, making it difficult for past events to appear.

2. Following the trend of the crowd: Google will prioritize the display of news that are of interest to users or “hot” topics.

3. According to the pocket: With a certain amount of money, anyone can force Google to show what they want from themselves, from their organization…

Google’s search algorithm prioritizes more recently published content over older content, even if older content provides a more complete story. Of course, nobody wants to read the old news. But if we look for someone with too much media presence, the results will be worthless.

Try searching for Elon Musk on Google. The first result is his Wikipedia page, followed by links to his social media and company bio. And finally the articles about this technological billionaire.

At the time of writing, the trend in public opinion is towards legal action to cancel Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, in addition to Tesla’s efforts to prevent the distribution of video clips with content. about his car crashing into child-sized mannequins; When you read a Google search for the name Elon Musk, the results might have turned into something else.

But for a “controversy engine” like Elon Musk, are Google results with the most popular articles really useful to search engines? What if the newest is not the most important?

The first three pages of Google search results show no news about articles published in May of this year, with a SpaceX flight attendant accusing Elon Musk of violent behavior. . he sexually harassed her, after which the billionaire was fined $250,000 for indecent behavior.

Not much is known about Elon’s various battles with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the time Elon Musk called out the person who helped rescue 12 children trapped in a cave in Thailand. “I love the green beard.”

Obviously, Elon Musk doesn’t mind this, because he knows that as he posts more controversial content, people will gradually forget the older content.

Things get much worse when people or organizations try to shape public opinion. The most realistic example that can be mentioned is the recent lawsuit between actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.

If he diligently browses Twitter, YouTube, or TikTok during that time, he’ll be inundated with memes, video clips, or satirical posts about Amber Heard as the bad guy and Johnny Depp as the real guy. . Online!

Here we will not discuss who is right and who is not, because it is clear that “there is no clear snowflake”, but it is easy to immediately see the direction of public opinion when it appears continuously. repeating posts defaming Amber Heard. Posts that tend to be neutral should be searched to be viewed.

The researchers note that the reason for this is probably because the platforms have been attacked by bots.

Social media platforms say they are constantly against these types of organized campaigns. However, their efforts are dubious and even incomplete, since bots are a type of interaction and interaction is a monetization service for platforms, so there is little reason to object. back there

YouTube can’t be entirely blamed for not presenting a fairer and less manipulative image of Depp’s lawsuit: it seems that video clips supporting Johnny Depp get more engagement.

Do not trust too much what you read on the Internet, because there is no guarantee that this virtual space will provide the best overview of what is happening in the world. And for any given story, no one can say what the tip of the iceberg is.

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