Back in January we commented on the fact the world’s biggest and bestest search engine, along with its wide-eyed little rival Bing, had been accused of promoting illegal entertainment content (primarily movies and music) by recommending illegitimate websites on results pages. Now it seems similar grumblings can again be heard on the fibre-optic grapevine.
As The Guardian reported yesterday morning Google appears to have landed itself in hot water again, this time with British MPs voicing concerns over the ease of finding ‘controversial content’, and a lackadaisical attitude towards removing such results. The example given is the Max Mosley sex scandal, wherein a video purportedly showing the Formula 1 team boss in a Nazi-themed orgy was circulated on the internet, with critics suggesting the search engine could have acted faster, and with more conviction.
A committee will meet next week on the situation, with other incidents such as Ryan Giggs and the super-injunctions no doubt also set to form part of the debate. As for Google, representatives have said they do not have processes in place to track and automatically remove duplicates of text or pictures, meaning this has to be done by hand- a lengthy process. So, is this a woeful misjudgement on the part of the information gatekeepers, or should we not expect that, once in the public domain, incendiary content will always spread like wildfire?