Sputnik News: Google’s Algorithm – How Big Tech Became Chief Arbiters of Political Discourse

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US Big Tech is triggering mounting concerns over potential political bias in favour of left-leaning media sources. Sputnik has taken a look into the controversy surrounding Google’s aggregation algorithm with regard to the purported censorship of conservative political discourse by the Silicon Valley giant.

A recent study published by the Columbia Journalism Review, has indicated that Google is apparently prioritising left-leaning mainstream media sources over conservative ones in its Top Stories results.

The study found that out of the 6,302 articles in Google’s “Top Stories” box in November 2017, CNN reports accounted for 10.9 percent of all coverage, while The New York Times and The Washington Post gained 6.5 percent and 5.6, respectively. Fox News, the main conservative outlet, regularly cited by US President Donald Trump, received just 3 percent of the top story spots. The data also showed that 62.4 percent of articles picked up by Google as “top stories” had been published by left-leaning MSM, while only 11.3 percent come from right-leaning sources.

Although the tech giant denies the assumption, cyber experts and academics believe that that is quite plausible and needs to be dealt with.

Fong Choong Fook, the CEO of the Malaysia-based LGMS Cyber Security firm, confirmed that it is technically possible: “The selection of news and stories can be easily controlled using algorithm that is written to pick and choose what the publisher (in this case: Google) want”.

“The selection algorithm can be programmed to observe parameters that based on targeted phrases, sentences, keywords, names, or even the identity of the interviewee”, he explained.

At the same time, analysts cast doubt on the probability that the Silicon Valley giant would ever voluntarily disclose its aggregation algorithm as it remains its “trade secret”.

 

Full article from Sputnik News

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