Google’s New Search Algorithm Introduces Bias

March 17, 2016
By

(This article was first published on triKnowBits, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Larry Magid has a technology “article” on the local radio station. I always turn up the volume when Magid comes on. Today’s spot tells how Google Search going forward may be biased for you personally based on your Google-stored relationships. This might be handy sometimes. For example, when looking for a restaurant you may want results skewed toward your friends’ favorites. Google calls these “private results.” For other searches, “private results” could hide or demote the actual results you’d hoped to find. On his website Magid shows how to turn off the privatizing feature after each search, as well as how to remove it for all searches via your Google settings.

Magid mentions a third option: “Incognito” mode. In Incognito mode, it’s as if you’re not logged in to Google, in which case your bias-influencing relationships are (presumably!) not available. You can open a new Incognito window in Chrome via Ctrl-Shift-N. Here is the link to Google’s instructions on how to browse Incognito-ly on various devices.

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