Sunday, 17 July 2011

New and old Media control

The New Scientist this week talks about how the internet is different in North Korea. The nation puts heavy restrictions on net access. It wants to control what its people learn about rest of the country and world.
Have you ever thought about out how you see the internet? Allow Google to personalise your search results, they will be skewed towards what it thinks you would like to find.

This “personalisation” can be found in other sites such as Facebook and Yahoo.
The New Scientist warns that we could “create digital dictators in our own image”.

Our MP Dr Phillip Lee picked up on this in the recent discussion about News International.
Part of what he said:
 “…discuss media plurality in reality, as it is now in this world. The way in which individuals search for news, and indeed share news, is changing and has changed. As for the idea that the ownership of one news channel watched by a relatively small number of people should concern us greatly, I suggest that the ownership of search engines and social media should concern us more.”

This was picked up in a Lib Dem Blog.
“The algorithms the search engines use to generate their results are commercially secret and how would we know that they haven’t been tweaked so that news sites favourable to the engine’s owner don’t get weighted higher than those unfavourable? How often when searching does on go past the first page of results?”
This blogger goes on to quote an example from Belgium, where some newspapers disliked Google indexing their pages and pictures. The same papers are now annoyed that people cannot find the newspapers’ stories because Goggle no longer creates an index to them.

Have you checked your settings recently?

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