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Conspiracy Theory

The myth of the unbiased search engine

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Are search engines biased? To answer that question, we need to understand two things: How search engines work and who’s behind the way they work.

As far as how they work, let’s focus on Google. It’s the largest search engine by a long shot with more people using it than many times all the other search engines combined. It’s algorithm is either simple or complex, depending on how deeply we dig into it. On the simple surface, Google’s search algorithm utilizes multiple factors to determine the credibility, popularity, and accuracy of a particular piece of content to determine where it ranks for the keywords it’s associated with. So when we search for “Republican Party” we see the top section that is informational, often pulled from one or more sources. Then we see the “organic” search results with GOP.com at the top followed by Wikipedia and Ballotpedia. From there, the results vary for people based on their location and search history. I’m in California right now, so the California GOP appears on my first page results.

When we dig deeper, it gets much more complex. This is where the ideology of the people involved, from the very top of the food chain down to individual programmers, has an impact. Sources are scored based on their credibility. Their credibility is determined by factors that are often arbitrary. Most are not; a website that is linked to by many other sources is given high credibility based on these links. But the factors that include human intervention is where some of the ideologies are allowed to slip in. For example, a site like Breitbart which is considered right wing and has plenty of mechanical credibility based on its popularity, social sharing, and inbound links will often rank lower for search terms than Slate even though the latter has less tangible credibility than Breitbart. Why? Because of those arbitrary factors I mentioned above.

The other two major ways search engines are able to display their bias is through their homepage information and search term recommendations. We covered the former in an article titled, “Despite Google’s claims they don’t favor ideologies, there’s an omission they must address.” We then gave an example of the latter in an article about “Hillary Clinton Email” scandal.

The folks over at Truthstream Media put together an interesting video about the topic yesterday. There’s one correction that should be made in their example about searches for “BDS Movement” that needs mentioning. They noted an ad at the top of the search for an anti-BDS site. This is an ad and has nothing to do with Google’s bias. Google is very favorable to the BDS movement and has done what they can to shift the search results in their favor by hiding clear instances of lunacy by the movement while highlighting all of their “good” actions. The ad mentioned in the video was simply paid for by those fighting the movement. This was not a good example of Google’s bias, though the rest of the video is fine.

It’s funny that as Google tries to debunk conspiracy theories, they included “search engine bias” as one of the conspiracy theories they’re debunking. As Truthstream points out, this is hypocritical to the extreme.

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Conspiracy Theory

Surveillance nightmare: Huawei P30 Pro’s 50x zoom lens makes anyone a spy

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Surveillance nightmare Huawei P30 Pros 50x zoom lens makes anyone a spy

Peeping Tom’s, amateur spies, and the generally creepy have a new smartphone to crave. The Huawei P30 Pro boasts a 50x zoom camera that is going viral on social media and making tech publications scream in every direction imaginable.

In reality, cameras with this capability have been around for a long time, but not on a smartphone. There’s something sinister about a smartphone with these capabilities that have people saying, “This is awful and dangerous… I want one!”

Opinion

This may seem like no big deal to some, but the way technology has become a useful tool to those with nefarious intentions is growing as a problem in western society every day. This isn’t just a better camera on a smartphone. This is a benchmark issue, one that will drive other companies to improve their own camera capabilities until they become truly dangerous.

If Huawei can make such a wave, imagine when Apple and Samsung match or exceed them.

The paranoid and the private must be more careful as this technology improves. It’s easy to imagine someone far enough away to not be easily seen with the naked eye spying on someone at the computer or in their dressing room revealing things they don’t want others to see. On top of that, it’s a smartphone with the capability of transmitting images and videos in real time.

I understand the desire to have these capabilities, but I’m also terrified by the implications of such technology in the hands of bad people.

Quote

“It can zoom in like a DSLR, and it can quickly snap low-light photos that would normally require a tripod and a lot of patience. It has every feature you can imagine, and then some. In short: The phone can take photos that other smartphones can only dream of.” – Stan Schroeder

Final Thoughts

Technology is empowering people to do things they only dreamed of being able to do in the past. With privacy concerns already a big issue in western society, the Huawei P30 Pro will add more fuel to that raging fire.

Image Source: Camera Jabber

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Conspiracy Theory

Truthstream Media: Alan Turing, cybernetics and the secrets of life

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Truthstream Media Alan Turing cybernetics and the secrets of life

Was Alan Turing the father of modern artificial intelligence? Did he discover things in his short life that led to machines that can learn? Was he murdered?

There are so many questions surrounding Turing’s life and death, they’ve even made a movie about him. But before you go see that one, watch this from Truthstream Media. There are more conspiratorial happenings in his life than most know.

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Conspiracy Theory

Why are conspiracy theories suddenly considered dangerous?

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Why are conspiracy theories suddenly considered dangerous

There was a time not too long ago when conspiracy theories were either embraced by people or ridiculed. They either awakened people or made them chuckle depending on their disposition towards conspiracies. Today, they’re being considered dangerous by many tech companies, the government, and a growing number of citizens.

It’s as if the CIA’s perspective from the 1960s is still in play today.

History has shown us two things. First, many if not most conspiracy theories, at least the ones that get the most attention, are either bunk or cannot be proven. Paul McCartney didn’t die in 1966. The earth isn’t flat. We really did land on the moon. But for every debunked theory, there are Gulf of Tonkin stories that turn out to be true. Lest we forget, it was insane to think the NSA was spying on us before Edward Snowden demonstrated they were.

Thanks to the internet, we now have the power and freedom to explore whatever conspiracy theories strike out fancy. Except, we don’t. Not anymore.

Today, there’s a concerted effort to not only debunk conspiracy theories through omission but to “protect” people from even being able to explore them. Google has taken the lead in making sure we can’t use their search engine or YouTube to learn more about conspiracy theories because, well, we’re all too stupid to think for ourselves. We are sheep who are too easily misled, so the technocracy has decided what we can and cannot easily find through their channels.

It’s their right. If they want to censor every anti-vaxxer, they have that power. If they want to prevent anyone from digging deeper into building 7 or whatever the 9/11 conspiracy of the day is, so be it. We are consumers of a product they’re offering to us, and while it is obviously disconcerting to those of us who understand not all conspiracy theories are crazy, there’s very little we can do about it.

This is why I follow people like Truthstream Media. Some of their posts are good. Others are downright incredible. They seem to have a handle on both the prevalence of truth in many conspiracies but also the reality that we’re being “protected” by the very channels and organizations we’ve grown so accustomed to using.

You won’t find this article or the video above very easily on Google or YouTube. That’s by design.

Is society to fragile and are individuals so stupid that we need the technocracy to be the arbiters of truth? Since that seems to be what they think, it’s time to find platforms that let us do the thinking for ourselves.

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