As Google Goes, So Goes the Nation

[Original Link] Another good NYT article. This one is about how, as Google becomes the world’s encyclopedia,

“…a high Google ranking can also have a lot of clout in the marketplace of ideas. It seems to confer “ownership” on a particular word or phrase ? deciding, in effect, who gets to define it.

And when it comes to more specialized topics, the rankings give disproportionate weight to opinions of the activists and enthusiasts that may be at odds with the views of the larger public. It’s as if the United Nations General Assembly made all its decisions by referring the question to whichever nation cares most about the issue: the Swiss get to rule on watchmaking, the Japanese on whaling.

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser