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Scholars Push For Search Engine Regulation

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Here’s an idea sure to start some fires: Is it necessary to consider government regulation of search engines? Please hold your throwing-stones until the end of the presentation.

Scholars Push For Search Engine Regulation
Scholars Push For Search Engine Regulation

A technologically advanced century brings with it more (much more) complicated questions that may or may not be properly addressed by old arguments. Worse, the concept is still hazy in the minds of most, making it that much more difficult to address.

But the short version can be presented this way: The Search Engine Industry is one that controls access to the most valuable commodity there is in today’s society, and that commodity is information. Access to the commodity is controlled by a few key players, and mostly by Google. As there is potential for abuse, then the appropriate and necessary role of the government is to guard against that abuse. 

A search engine can be defined as: an information retrieval agent; a value-judge (editor) of information; an information medium (i.e., press).

And that is troublesome. Indeed, Google steers away from whatever definition hurts it the worst in court, citing the First Amendment at times, and the Communications Decency Act at others (i.e., our opinion is free speech, or, when necessary, we have no opinion as a an interactive computer service).

We talk about Google most because it is the dominant player, and some would argue the fairest one. On the whole, though, a natural oligarchy has developed whereby a few entities control what information is viewable to the public.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the gatekeepers can be trusted. But there is an inherent possibility (and thus, temptation and motivation) that information can be manipulated to the benefit of the provider, or to the detriment of the competition.

We’ve certainly addressed this before. In 2005, I explored whether the search engines were politically biased. In that same year, searches on both Google and MSN regarding the infamous Kai-Fu Lee lawsuit revealed dramatically different results – both parties had vested interests and their results seemed to reflect that.

And earlier this week, my colleague, David Utter, dropped a new term on us: Search Neutrality. An interesting point was that Google argues (rightly, I might add) that the telecommunications industry cannot be trusted with the Internet without government oversight. Yet, Google maintains it most certainly can be trusted with our information because, well, "the company says so."

The line between ISP and search engine, then, are effectively blurred – both act as gatekeepers to information and therefore should be, in some way, regulated to protect the people’s access to this unprecedented information availability.

You may not have heard of Frank Pasquale III, but you won’t find a more impressive résumé. Summa cum laude, Harvard; Marshall Scholar, Oxford; Coker Fellow, Yale Law.  That’s my ham-fisted way of saying the dude’s pretty smart.

Pasquale and colleague Oren Bracha recently published a 60-page argument in favor of some kind of search engine regulation, overseen by a "Federal Search Commission." Note, if you take the time to read it all, that though they make a persuasive and intuitive case in favor, Pasquale and Bracha were unable to detail how, exactly, this would be done.

They begin this way:

Though rarely thought of as a “mass medium,” search engines occupy a critical junction in our networked society. Their influence on our culture, economy, and politics may eventually dwarf that of the broadcast networks, radio stations, and newspapers. Located at bottlenecks of the information infrastructure, search engines exercise extraordinary control over data flow in a largely decentralized network. Power, as always, is accompanied by opportunities for abuse, and by concerns over its limitation to legitimate and appropriate uses.

Indeed, it seems only a matter of time before powerbrokers with vested interests begin leveraging. Cases in point: Google veep Tim Armstrong and his other company, Associated Content; Aaron Wall’s detective work revealing Google Checkout’s intimate relationship with GolfBalls.com.

And from the other side as well, as the big brands buy up high-ranking sites in order to appear multiple times in the top ten results.

So we might say, "Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire." People on all sides are gaming the system, and it is seemingly inevitable, once Google gets further and further from its utopian ideals (remember China?), that the ability and incentive to manipulate results in their favor will exist and be acted upon.

Even if Google says that won’t happen.

And yet, and yet, to quote one of my heroes, Jorge Luis Borges, there is the free-market economy debate, which has failed to win in the face of telecommunications realities, that says the market will ultimately decide and punish businesses that would abuse their positions.

Pasquale and Bracha don’t think so and argue that personalized search, the proposed answer to search result manipulation, will merely provide better targets for which to manipulate.

They fail, however, to address another rising and powerful tide in the information economy: social networks. Unless I missed it within those powerfully presented 60 pages. I think it may be argued that the populist, uncontrollable world of social networks may act as a nice counterbalance to potential engineered algorithmic abuses – so long as the corporate owners don’t actively seek to censor their users, which is also a likelihood.

Now you may commence to stone-throwing. (Sorry for all the parenthetical references.)

Scholars Push For Search Engine Regulation
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  • russell

    KEEP “UNCLE FLIM FLAM” OUT OF REGULATING SEARCH ENGINE OPERATION.

  • sofakingdabest

    No regulation required. However, search engines should be split between “for profit” and “non-profit” entities. When I’m looking for advice on cinder block repair, I don’t want to see Craig’s List consuming the 10 of the top 10 list. And, I don’t want to see advertising either. Likewise, if I’m spending money on the internet, I don’t want to see About.com listings. Moreover, if anyone at Google has vision beyond quarterly forecasts and profits, there is an annual trillion dollar sales bonanza just waiting to happen. Billions? Nah. That’s for oil companies.

  • http://www.bigflannel.com Mike

    About time. Google’s motto of ‘You can make money without doing evil’ is a naive and ridiculous statement by a very important company whose sole mission is to generate profit. They have already broken this ideal (China) and have failed miserably to provide any transparency or accountability in any of their services as a standard to make the motto ‘You can make money without doing evil’ in any way real. When did you last get an opportunity to go to a search engine ombudsman to complain about the indexing of your site and have your complaint heard by an independent body.

    Google’s naive philosophy is actually evil in that they do not accept their reponsibilities towards the websites and content they exploit to sell advertising nor the copyright they wantonly disregard (no respect for copyright of books, very little but increasing respect for video content – motivated purely by the need to make profit on You Tube rather than any respect for copyright).

    Isn’t Google’s systemic interest in MEDIOCRE search? If they were perfect, we wouldn’t need to advertise with them.

    Once more, regulate them before its too late.

  • Joe San Martin

    Whatever the subject may be, there is always some perceived need for Government to intervene. The result is stiffling. Once the Government’s large foot is in the door, there will be pressure to inject politics and more regulation. No thanks!

  • Chris

    The author makes a very good point: if we can’t trust AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. to be net neutral then how can we trust Google and MSN to be search neutral. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves as a country to explore government regulation of the search engines, just as we have some government regulation of credit bureaus and the procedures they have to follow.

  • http://hopefulhuman.blogspot.com/ Tony Neale

    Who in their right mind is willing to put their life in the hands of polititians? Open your eyes!

    • http://www.twincitiesdiningguide.com Jimpajaro

      Who in their right mind would believe our lives are NOT in the hands of politicians?

      Everything from whom you buy Internet access to who can sell you your beer is regulated by government (politicians). Without our intervention the power brokers have it easy in creating wealth for themselves at everyone else’s expense. Good with luck hiding your head in the sand.

  • http://justwantaquote.com justwantaquote

    One thing in my opinion about Google is sure, that Google will never give up your personal information to any third party.

    The United States government last year was demanding Google hand over all its information it had about its users to the government, But Google said NO, and refused.

    Same goes with Yahoo, as one time a case was heard where a parent wanted to access his deceased son’s email account, but Yahoo also declined, and stated it would be a violation of the individuals rights.

    As for ISP’s……They will violate and share your info with the world if that meant more money for them.

    So I think search engines ARE better off than the ISP’s when it comes down to controlling your information.

    Please visit www.justwantaquote.com for all your financial information and resources.

    Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.fastfreeads.com J.Thomas

    It is essential (behoves) any democratic society to regulate services; without exception.
    Or; to lose your freedom, it only takes good men to do nothing.
    However altruistic a person, group, or corporation, may, or may not be,
    as a benefactor to society, only transparency enforced by regulation can it be so assured.
    That is, it must be seen to be so; both for the good of the public and the provider.
    Only transparency CAN provide this requirement; and only regulation by others CAN provide the necessary transparency with safeguards.
    This is illustrated with the press, the media, the police, in fact through all walks of life; all have regulation, for the benefit of the public and to prevent or correct any injustice.
    Simply, only wrong doers should fear regulation by any democratic society.
    J.Thomas.

    • Vance P. Frickey

      You’re proceeding from the erroneous assumption that regulation automatically provides transparency.

      Look at two processes which the Federal government already regulates and tell me they’re transparent to users and providers, or that “transparency” has actually served to protect them:

      1) the securities market

      2) small business.

      Both of these processes are beset with endless ways to wind up in ClubFed without having any criminal intent because our fine regulators in Washington are themselves not regulated and not required to apply transparency to their operations.

      Who shall guard the guards? Better not to have any if we don’t need them.

      The “problem” with search engines is a basic failure of another massively regulated process – education.

      Learn how to construct a logical query and you don’t HAVE difficulty using search engines.

      But the people who have unionized and corrupted public education in this country can’t tolerate any criticism of their methods DESPITE the undeniable downward spiral of standardized test results among victims of “transparent,” regulated public education since Education has been a cabinet-level regulatory function in our government, over thirty years ago.

      Show me a transparent publicly-regulated process – just one – and THEN come back to me with reasons why we need to regulate search engines.

  • J Bair

    Most college profs are left-wing. They believe that the elite (people like themselves) should tell everyone else how to live. You have that plus activist law school types who figure to make big bucks in the new field of search engine law. Sorry if I sound cynical, but this is just one more way the elitists want to tell everyone how to run their lives. If they’re smart, they’ll find a way to blame search engines for global warming, Islamic terrorism, and bridge collapses as well.

  • Irene

    I understand the concern of not having search engines regulated, the whole freedom of speach thing and allowing the internet to be fluid. But, the engines are already regulated by the individual companies.

    If each company, Google, Yahoo, MSN and all the others, come up with their own algorithms of what web site will come up on their engines first, for any particular search term, then the search is regulated by terms not understood, nor freely shared, by anyone but the individual search engine companies. Though this doesn’t necessarily relate to abusive power, it is a form of power and regulation.

    I have long disagreed with Google’s theory that a widget store selling wares on the internet should be a source of widget knowledge. Or a popularity contest as to who will link to your widget store, but they insist on going down this path, making webmasters dance to there tune in order to be successfully ranked.

    There is even confusion as to being ranked well. Does it lead to success on the internet? Many say picking the popular keywords and having your one-way links to rank well is what brings internet success. There have been studies done that show Google as the #1 referring search engine, so the pressure is there to bow to Google’s rules.

    How do we fix it? I don’t have the answer, nor does anyone else, otherwise I think it would have been changed by now. I certainly do not think letting the government regulate the search engines would solve anything and would restrict the freedom that is now there. Education that what is on the internet is biased, just as a radio news report, depending on the news caster, or different newspapers tend to one side or another is what needs to be done.

    Most mature people can determine when a report is obviously one sided. My concern is that the internet is one of the most popular places for the young to gather and their education may not make them aware enough to understand the bias. I have personally been through this with my 16 and 13 year old boys.

    Teaching people that the internet is NOT a level playing field is the best approach. How, do you teach this? Maybe a warning label on each search engine, stating that the results are based on rules regulated by that individual search company and may be biased is the best approach.

    • http://www.brane.com.br Peter (IMC)

      There are already many existing laws that simply apply already. So regulation definitely already exists. Do we need a special entity to regulate search? I’m not sure what there is to regulate.

      Regulate the results? That

  • http://www.allbrands-hottubandspa.com Steve C.

    It seems that the solution to govenrment intervention is simple, rather than intervention how about competition? Govnet
    could be formed as a government run search engine, then we could see how fair and unbiased the politions really are !

    http://www.hot-tubs,ws

  • http://www.allbrands-hottubandspa.com Steve C.

    It seems that the solution to govenrment intervention is simple, rather than intervention how about competition? Govnet
    could be formed as a government run search engine, then we could see how fair and unbiased the politions really are !

    http://www.hot-tubs.ws

  • http://www.dodtracker.com/ Ben

    There’s no need to regulate. If users are satisied with the search engine results that they are getting, then that’s good enough. If there is more information, whether it be commercial or non-commercial, then an engine which offers it up will naturally become increasingly popular.

    Google isn’t the most popular by accident–it’s the most popular because their results are the most relevant. They have no power to stop other engines from returning “better” results, offering information in different ways, or anything else.

    The system is self-regulating. The technology behind search is simply not that complex. There will be better search engines and search algorithms, and when that happens, Google will become today’s Yahoo.

    Instead of wasting money and effort in regulation, put it into R&D. That amount of time & money could easily develop AI algorithms for knowledge representation, a natural language interface, and more human-like lingustic results.

    Suggestions of government regulation are simply made by those who lack the ingenuity to grasp the field and its dynamics.

  • http://dsl-experts.net/news.php Dan

    Like everything else regulated by government, what happens? It’s usually never a pretty picture.

    I think if gov has a chance to grab power in search, they will.

    It makes me wonder though about a grass roots people’s movement to create a new internet. One seperate from the current network. Let the big G and let the gov have this one.

  • http://www.cateringforums.net Stu Wright

    If the search engines are free then it should be up to them what they do. As long as they are ethical and fair I cannot see the problem. Because there are so many search engines available, they need to keep a good rep to stay popular.
    If any gov controls the search engines there will be a massive cost, which will have to be paid by someone?
    Stu
    http://www.cateringforums.net

  • http://Directory.com.au Ernest Goldberg

    Regulation mostly creates a bad taste for most, but is it not true that so many Search Engine are done in bad taste and are irresponsible in their ways with nothing to offer. Why not just cancel them withdraw there URL we have to many anyway and who can

  • http://www.rationalenvironmentalsolutions.com James

    Hmm, One regulator put in place to regulate another regulator? No sense in that. Results skewed toward one business and away from another, vs. over regulation and one political party using the regulation against another. That’s not a good option. As long as regulation remains in the hands of the public, even a giant like Google could be brought down if needed, once it is in the hands of government, it is cnot regulated, it is codified, and available for what ever tyrant chooses to use it!

  • Tank Thompson

    Your so call smart guys are no different than the rest of the terrorists who want to control the world. What they are not telling you is their personal motives. That be ingratiate themselves with bureaucrats.

    Government wrecked the train industry. Government wrecked the oceanic cargo shipping business. Government wrecked the airline business. Government is wrecking the mining business. Government is wrecking the health industry. Government has wrecked justice. On the face of this planet, the only things the government has not wrecked is the space and military industry.

    Goggle is not the end all. Yahoo is right up there, AltaVista is too. Ask, Go, MSN, AOL, DogPile, Lycos, WebCrawler, Wise, and many more are battling it out. What, you think (NBC) National Broadcasting Corporation, (ABC) American Broadcasting Corporation, (CBS) Columbian Broadcasting Corporation, Turner, Fox and a the rest don’t know this battle for the minds of the public is going on? People use free services and the best one gets the business.

    Your smart guys know diddle squat about the search engine business. $49.95 and you can scrub the internet yourself. Make your own search engine. All Google, Yahoo, Ask, and the rest do is make it convenient for the ignorant and lazy.

    Soon, the public will not be so ignorant. Who be the idiots are your smart guys. They think the public is too stupid to figure out how a search engines works. They be the fools of our decade. Harvard, Oxford, and Yale should be embarrassed having graduated such doom sayer dimwits. But then IBM said personal computers are just a fad because people can’t use them. Tell it to Bill Gates.

    Isn’t that the big joke? IBM, top of the computer business, think personal computers are a fad. Now, Bill Gates, who puts out a reasonable working cheap affordable product, is in the DOW and IBM is not.

    All your so called scumyadas did was barf back information so the instructors gave them good grades. Have these terrorist doom sayers made anything the public uses big time, like Bill Gates, Woz, Jobs, and Larry Ellison? I don’t think so. They are just so many whining whimpering complainers that are just like all the rest of the doom sayers. They want to scare you to make themselves look better. They, like Al Gore, know nothing.
    Mr. Gore claims to be the father of the internet, which he was not, and wants to scare you to think the end is coming with global warming, which it is not. (Note on global warming: it is happening and has been since the retreat of the ice age. Man has got nothing to do with it.) A vote for Al Gore is a vote to destroy American industry what little there is left of it after big government has wrecked most of it.

    Same thing here. Government intervention in the search engine business is total stupid and will turn out to be a complete disaster. Like American’s lost industry, it will simply go over seas.

    • Matt

      Indeed. There’s no need for regulation. Scholars sounding off on this are more then likely those who don’t know how to use the search engines correctly and can find what they want.

      I use Google all the time and it’s my only one…because I find ANYTHING I want to (and I mean that literally) within the first page or 2 of results…sometimes 3 if need be, very rarely beyond that. There’s no need for “regulation.” The last time fancy sheez tried to happen (when advertisers were paying to be at the top) was quickly discovered and debunked where it couldn’t happen.

      It all comes down to the following factors:

      a) what you are searching for
      b) where you are searching from (location)
      c) what search engine you are using

      Different engines return different results…or if you are smart enough to know and utilize there are sites that crawl a bunch of them at once, thus returning even more results (dogpile is one).

      Who cares WHERE it comes from, just as long as you get your answer…which is I’m sure when many of us are searching for information what we ARE looking for…the answer to our question/query.

      This idea of regulation is just another bunk of k-rap.

    • Brandon

      Then you must be in bliss. If you truly believe that altavista, yahoo, and all the others are equal to google in the amount of traffic they receive, then you’ve obviously never checked a website log.

      Don’t even get me started on the global warming thing, as it’s been proved that the gases are tearing holes in the ozone.

      A few of the phrases you used were wrong. If you want to insult someone’s intelligence, please get your wording correct. It is ‘diddly’ not ‘diddle’. I believe you meant ‘Who will be the idiots’ not ‘Who be the idiots.’

      Doom sayers? I won’t even go there, but look up the definition. Even if the government mangled the SE’s, it wouldn’t be the end of them.

      As for your whole rant about PC’s, why? We all know what happened to IBM, we’ve seen the movies, read the books, and read the articles. There really wasn’t even a point to the story. You simply are just an angry person, and must feel the need to vent at everything, and bring up old stories to make you feel superior?

      Also, if big government wrecked um, ‘American Industry’, then how could a vote for Gore destroy it? I mean, to wreck is to destroy, mangle etc.

      When you’re done, please make sure to brush the sand off the back of your neck. You know, when you take your head out.

  • http://www.samait.net/ SAM J MORRIS

    I don’t see any benefit from government regluation of search engines. I’m sure the government have a lot of things, that they would like to hide from the public. By government controlling the search engines, true facts will come to an end and we will be back to propaganda.

    There’s enough hiding of the truth, without government regulation of search engines.

    Remember Watergate?
    Remember Vietnam?
    Remember (WMD) Weapons of Mass Destruction?

    We don’t need any more restrictions to the truth.

    No! We don’t need government regulation of search engines.

  • http://jankatherphotography.com Jan Kather

    I am generally against government control but based on a personal experience, I agree that Google is potentially very threatening without some neutral oversight (government?). Last winter they targeted my site with a warning that my site contained a virus. They directed the searcher to open at their own risk, as it MIGHT have a virus. When actually viewed, it was clear that it didn’t have a virus. When I realized that had happened, I complained, and they took the virus warning off in a matter of days, but the warning had been on my Google search engine site for months. It seemed like a scam – Google supporting some virus protection software company at my expense. Yahoo did not have the warning, nor other search engines. It was then that I realized the power of Google and how harmful it could be when used in this way. Of course they will fight government control, because they just might lose the control they presently have over me.

  • Tina

    Many -if not most- scholars are left-wingers, and thus it is only natural that they push government intervention at all levels. “Live and let live” is not their motto, they prefer the fist of the government everywhere, their thing is to diminish freedom in society.

  • http://www.geocities.com/usrepeaters Rob Palm

    First I’m in Google, then I’m out. I feel like I’m playing musical chairs with a bunch of Frenchmen! Rob

  • Vaughn

    It’s a rather silly notion that our culture continuously desensitizes Americans with day in and day out, that Government is the one who is to protect us from abuse! Thomas Jefferson said that our form of government was meant only for a righteous people and I would guess that it has grown to the monstrosity which it is now because we continuously believe the same lie over and over: that government should protect us from abuse. Result: government finds it can’t protect us, abuses it power over us, then forms another committee, holds more hearings, wastes more time and money doing nothing but making a show of protecting us. We The People have to take responsibility for protecting ourselves! After we do that as individuals, we can help others to do so, then even more, but if first starts at home, in the center, in the heart, mind and soul of our own bodies. So, stop with the chanting of the mantra, that government should protect us from little ole Google. Wah, wah, wah.

  • Vance P. Frickey

    Sure, why not?

    The World Wide Web’s gotten along just fine with a minimum of governmental involvement, so let’s invite Congress to pee in our coffee until it tastes right, by all means!

    Seriously, why is opening the search engine process to rent-seeking, graft-demanding, intrinsically crooked busybody-ism even being considered?

    Has Congress ever improved a process by sticking their grimy mitts into it?

  • Woody Edmiston

    There has never been a time when the truth has not been manipulated by some sort of media. In every case, that media “thinks” they are doing the right thing. We should demand the truth and be aware that there will always be an information spinner trying to doctor the truth.

    If you look at some old history texts from the early 19th Century you will find references to Viking, Chinese, Hebrew and various other explorations and settlements in what is now the United States. Popular writers of the late 19th Century, to curry favor with a growing Italian population, began to promote the “discovery” of America by Columbus. Therefore it is what is popularly believed today. It has continued to be taught in spite of numerous archaeological sites that would argue against the notion that only American Indians were on the continent prior to that.

    The difficulty with this argument is that all media is operated with a profit motive. There is therefore always a temptation to manipulate the service to increase profit. Social Networks are prime examples. The average teen would blanch at the idea that their MySpace is nothing more than a huge advertising vehicle. They view the “free” spaces as some sort of altruistic gift to improve their social lives. They do not see that each new member allows the company to charge more for each advertising segment.

    A few years ago the mass media outlets had a journalistic code. They have abandoned that code in recent years – primarily to in an attempt to manipulate American politics. In doing so they have lost the respect of the nation. If the providers of search engines don’t self-regulate they are begging for government intervention.

    • Vance P. Frickey

      The problem with regulating search engines, rather than (say) educating the public that Google and other search engines can sometimes skew search results for their own reasons is that instead of removing bias in search engine results, regulation is a sure way to add new and even more insidious biases demanded by special interests who pay or threaten Congress to get what they want.

      You make a good point by citing historical revisionism in school texts. The state has even multiplied the impact of this revisionism by requiring that certain textbooks be used if a child’s education is to be “accredited.”

      The fact is that archaeological research showing Caucasoid human remains on the west coast of North America (the “Patrick Stewart” skull) has been hopelessly compromised by the Clinton Administration, which poured several tons of gravel on the dig site where the anomalous remains were found at the behest of native American tribes who opposed the research on the specious grounds that these remains (which may have antedated the tribes’ arrival at the area being dug by thousands of years) were “sacred” and “belonged” to that tribe.

      (Some people have been so unkind as to suggest that the tribe which complained may have wanted to suppress evidence that non-Mongoloid humans inhabited North America prior to the arrival of the ancestors of “native Americans.”)

      In this case, regulation has probably ruined our chance to learn exactly what the “Patrick Stewart” remains mean for the story of how humans came to be located in North America. This particular instance of the Clinton Administration’s regulatory process (pouring many tons of gravel on a unique paleontological site) is a classic case of how regulation can be worse – much worse – than the evils it is supposed to prevent.

      The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reserves all the powers not specifically allocated to the government to the people. This is a great opportunity to show the rest of the world that the Bill of Rights actually means something.

      We should trust ourselves enough let the market determine whether we like our search results free – even if it means remembering that old adage “let the buyer beware,” or “regulated” to suit a panoply of lobbyists, special interests and political “grassroots” activists who will insert biases much worse than those of the management of Google.

  • GOP

    You’re a GOP stooge

    • ccc

      I agree with: you’re a GOP stooge.

      SE’s are driven by quality results
      to their users, otherwise users
      will go to other engines
      for better quality results.

      Governmnet is always driven by political
      and lobby group considerations,
      and few bribes here and there for
      good measure.
      They’re never driven by quality results to the greatests number of users.

      Or put more traditionally: Governments are no longer driven by the greatest
      good for the greatest number of people.

  • internet

    government regulation -
    they are already controlling the search results

    google yourself — then they can know the name of the person whose searches they are recording

    social network – tell them all about yourself and identify your online friends

  • veronica mandolini

    I have noticed a huge difference in search results for about the last year or so. When you type in what you are looking for it use to come up. Now you get manipulated into a maze of sorts. The same sites listed one after another with different key words. It’s not fair to the little guy who can’t pay for advertising. I think the whole advertising thing should be different. It should be advertisers pay to advertise on your page or the side bar of the search engine NOT FOR THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY APPEAR. The search results should be determined by what you are searching for, not by popularity. I put in my site name and it still does not come up. Yes I agree something should be done because once again someone is manipulating the system to benefit themselves for profit. Veronica

  • http://www.greatacts.com David Redwine

    Yes Google (and Cisco) made a deal with the devil by deploying censorship and regulatory software on the previously free Chinese internet, thereby destroying any hope of freedom of information the Chinese people might have enjoyed. BUT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZED IT. Who do you think had to sign off on the export of the hardware and software to get that done? Those are listed as non-exportable restricted software and hardware items. That is the kind of action we can expect from the most corrupt, greedy, moronic government in the history of this great nation.

    Asking the Federal Government to oversee Google is like hiring two lovesick teenagers to make sure neither one of them has sex with each other. Sheeesh, everything the government has done for the last 20 years has been designed to extinguish freedom and fairness. Washington DC’s best contribution to society would be to give every politician a one way ticket to the Sun, and make their corporate cronies and lobbyists go with them.

  • http://www.way2hope.org Glen Williams

    This is a great idea for all those who feel the Government isn’t subject to being “gamed,” is better than Google MSN and Yahoo at managing information, and fairly and efficiently manages all of its current responsibilities. For the other 85%, watch your wallet!

  • A Mother

    Hummm – makes you want to take Google Adsense off your site for a day, and not bother to use it as a search engine. Maybe we all should stop using Google as the search engine for a week or two – or three or 4.
    I agree – social bookmarks are a fabulous suggeestion.

    A Mother

  • http://www.the-antisocialist.com The antisocialist

    Your article is so poorly reasoned that I took the time to respond to it in full. You can find it at the-antisocialist dot com. I’m not trolling for hits here. Your article is not just bad: it’s dangerous. I’d just as soon post my response in this comment box. It is, however, a little too long.

    Please take a look at it – and not for my sake, but yours.

  • Jeffrey Satin

    OK, First off… Just because someone has a lot of “Establishment Alphabet SOUP” behind their names, does NOT make them any smarter than you or I, in FACT, if you look at the track records of our So-Called “smartest”, THEY are the ones getting our country into the MOST trouble…
    The problem is, as I see it, is ACCESS to information is being confused with the information ITSELF… NO ONE should be able to “REGULATE” access to information, first off, THAT is “Nazi-ism” or at the VERY LEAST, CENSORSHIP!
    Secondly, even WITHOUT the search engines, the information ITSELF would still be there, people would just have get off their lazy BUTTS, and go look for it the old-fashioned way, by THEMSELVES…
    I have been around on the internet since 1984, before it went “public”, and I am “Old-School”, meaning I was trained to think for MYSELF, and I have LONG since discovered a lot of SERIOUS things wrong with letting the “Federales” get their grubby little hands on ANYTHING…
    All the search engines ARE, is just like a junkyard parts dealer who is kind enough to go out into the yard and retrieve the part you’re looking for, they go get the info you’re looking for, no more, no less.
    Well, trust ME! “I” don’t need no stinking “middleman” to go retrieve MY parts for ME!
    I say, FINE, regulate GOOGLE, I use something MUCH better anyway, just DON’T cut off my ACCESS to the information ITSELF.
    THAT would be the DEATH of the ‘Net as we presently know it.
    The ‘Net is like the Moon, no ONE individual or Country has a right to OWN it, or REGULATE it, OR it’s CONTENTS…
    You may as well just get it OVER with, and sign up with the Govt. and get their silly little number tattooed on yourself, or their IMPLANT, and be DONE with it ALREADY…

    Jeffrey N. Satin

  • http://directjs.com William Penning

    Yes, it should be regulated in that every search engine uses it’s own set of rules. With Google being the worst of the bunch.

    Also, ALL PPC’s should be either banned or regulated to guarantee that there will not be Click Fraud. Again, Google being the worst.

  • http://www.RightThoughtRadio.com Michael

    I cannot think of anything worse for the Internet than the government who created it, oddly enough.

    A univeristy or group of them should create their own scholar search engine. The wonderful about internets is that Google could disappear tommorow, and we would all switch our homepage to yahoo or something.

    Google’s own greed is going to eat it alive, and remember it is free. We have no right to tell them what so show us. The answer is to find a better search engine.

    Duh.

  • Ricky

    The shadow government has NO business regulating the currently democratic internet. Actually, the shadow government and other anti-people establishments should be dissolved.

  • http://www.justbuygreen.com Green Products

    Leave the internet alone!

    • http://travel-guide2india.blogspot.com travelling to famous tourism places in India

      I agree with you Mr. Green. Internet should be left alone.Internet is such a complex thing that regulating it is somewhat a tough ask>>>>>

  • http://www.neongear.com Neon Signs

    Hey how about getting us out of Iraq or solving the energy crisis. Leave the intert be for now we’ve got much bigger fish to fry!

  • http://www.agenciawebsul.com.br Michel

    We’re the jurors and the Engine Google is judge

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