The trouble with truth
Do search engines and other content distribution platforms have a responsibility to present information that is true? Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller discusses the issues surrounding this question.
Since the election, there’s been a lot of discussion about fake news and its ability to sway masses into potentially false perceptions. Clearly, creating false perceptions in mass media is a dangerous thing, and it can sway public opinion and policy greatly.
But what about search engines and other content distributors? Even before the US election, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that search engine algorithms, “when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they can shrink our expanse of information.” What responsibility, then, does a search engine have to produce truthful information?