With billions depending on the world's iconic search engine for virtually every tidbit of information under the sun, Google is looking to take it one step further with its new "truth-seeking algorithm" that will rank sites by what it considers to be truth.
Many are concerned with the massive Internet information storehouse's newest endeavor, especially with the left-leaning political bent it has demonstrated over the years (see OneNewsOne story divulging today's most liberal-sponsoring corporations). Google received a "1.2" score on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the most liberal and 5 being the most conservative.
The significant alterations Google is making to its "PageRank" project are geared to make it the ultimate assessor of truth around the globe. It will reportedly be changing over from its current system that ranks all pages according to search results, which are derived from the number of other websites that are linked to the particular page.
"Google has come up with a new truth-seeking algorithm [that] draws on Google's 'Knowledge Vault' — a collection of 2.8 billion facts [sic] drawn from the Internet," reports CNN Money. "First, I want to see what their definition of 'truth' is."
Google believes that its techies have found the formula to truth.
"By checking pages against that database, and cross-referencing related facts, the research team believes the algorithm could assign each page a truth score," CNN Money informed. "Pages with a high proportion of false claims would be bumped down in the search results."
Wait a minute …
Even though most are on board with finding out the truth, many conservatives on the other side of Google's political and ethical spectrum on issues such as same-sex "marriage" and abortion are a bit skeptical and alarmed about Google assuming the role as the world's chief evaluator of truth.
"This is potentially very dangerous," Media Research Center vice president of business and culture Dan Gainor expressed to LifeSiteNews. "I know right now Google is just studying this idea, but the power Google has to impact results and determine what it considers to be absolute truth is 1984-ish."
Extrapolating on the media watchdog's warning, specific concerns about Google's allegiance to the LGBT community brings rise to many conservatives' fears.
"In the first place, Google has a history of supporting the redefinition of marriage and the erosion of the traditional family," LifeSiteNews points out. "The tech giant came out against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011 and, the following year, launched an international campaign to spread a homosexual agenda in countries it deemed 'homophobic,' including Poland and Singapore."
Showing many that Google's truth will be geared toward its own political worldview, it has also been noted that the California-based technology giant is anything but a neutral bystander when it comes to the most heated social issues of our time.
"Google also opposed Proposition 8, which aimed to codify in California's constitution the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, in 2008," LifeSiteNew's Drew Belsky reports. "In the ad realm, Google has been accused of rejecting conservative advertisements, censoring pro-life content, and restricting Christian viewpoints."
Another major concern that has many parents worried is Google's aversion to protect Internet users from pornography.
"Google also recently backpedaled on a plan to remove pornographic blogs from its search results through Blogger," Belsky continued. "Since 'the new algorithm is in the research stage,' it cannot yet be determined whether pornographic sites would be subject to PageRank's 'false claims' scrutiny — nor what Google might determine 'true' when it comes to porn."
An objective handler of 'truth'?
Google's stances on marriage, abortion, and pornography aren't the only things that conservatives find disturbing.
"Google warrants concern more generally as well," Belsky contends. "The company featured prominently in the PRISM scandal, in which the U.S. federal government was revealed to be spying on Internet users via direct access to Google's and other companies' internal servers."
Seeing the merits and dangers of Google going into the "truth" business, one pro-family leader called its PageRank project "a worthy endeavor." However, she notes that truth "com[ing] down to human judgment" poses serious problems.
"Who will be the final arbiter of what is true? … Will it be Google, which has shown its own bias in the past?" C-Fam vice president Wendy Wright asked LifeSiteNews. "Web surfers will still need a healthy dose of skepticism and an authority higher, and with a better track record, to rely upon than human beings."
Other conservative personalities have seen firsthand the potential problems that relying on Google as the purveyor of truth will bring about, saying that it will broaden "the gap between perception and reality."
"I see my students relying on Google as if it gives them an objective panoramic view of the world as it is," said English Manif manager Robert Oscar Lopez, a pro-family advocate and author of Jephthah's Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family 'Equality.' "They don't account for the fact that people with thoughts and opinions designed the algorithms, or that real people with political connections run the company and might be pressured."
It has been noted that the so-called "truth on the Internet" movement already has its problems, and will unlikely be rejuvenated by Google's inclusion.
"The Internet is already replete with less influential sites claiming to sort fact from fiction, with PolitiFact, Snopes, and The Washington Post's 'Fact Checker' (famous in political circles for its rating scale of one to four 'Pinocchios' for truthfulness) prominent among them," LifeSiteNews reports. "But such sites are often accused of bias and misrepresentation — PolitiFact, for example, presented as fact the extremely contentious claim, rebutted by multiple studies, that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer."