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Let Your Fingers Do the Walking....Away From Google Bias


By Elizabeth Dallam Ayoub | April 2, 2024


For those old enough to remember phones that hung on walls and the thick phone books delivered yearly to each household, the phrase, “Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages,” might resonate. Book recipients were directed to open the book and look for needed information, such as to locate a dry cleaner in a neighborhood, find the phone number, and perhaps check the hours of operation. You could find the nearest place that served pizza, even where the best nature trails in the county were located.


Pre-Google, when you opened that phone book, all of the information was laid out before you. You could see at a glance all the dry cleaners in your geographic area or find the names of each place that served pizza. Some establishments purchased additional advertising, but each establishment was listed. Each had an equal chance of your selecting it.


But Google is more than a phone book. It is an information network, and a heavily biased one at that

 

Let your fingers walk onto Google’s platform and type a few words into its search engine. Then according to Dr. Robert Epstein, not every “establishment” (i.e., political position or idea) is equally advertised.


The former President Trump’s speech in Ohio over a week ago brings what might be called a perfect opportunity to challenge Dr. Epstein’s hypothesis. Let YOUR fingers “do the walking.” Go to your search bar on Google and type in “bloodbath used by politicians.”


For this writer who typed (on March 26, 2024) “bloodbath used by politicians,” the top thirteen results were all about Trump’s speech just a little over a week ago. These are just three of the top thirteen results.



It was not until way down on the page, result fourteen to be exact, that the reader could find a link to an article from the Washington Examiner entitled “Biden and the Media Peddle Dishonest Trump ‘bloodbath’ . . . .


Not until result fourteen was this writer provided an inkling that perhaps the media was dishonest about what was written about Trump and his use of “bloodbath” to describe how Chinese auto factories being built in Mexico threatened to cause a bloodbath of the U.S. auto industry.


Let those fingers do the walking again. On March 26, this writer searched for “bloodbath used by Democrat party.” The top twelve results were all about Trump’s remarks, each title bearing the word “Trump” in it. Not until search result thirteen was there a Washington Post article from 2017 included that stated something about the “politicized bloodbath vote to elect new chairman of California Democratic Party.”



In contrast, search with Brave.



The first few results on Brave consist of definitions of the word. A series of YouTubes show the full context of Trump using the word. The first news story appears as Number 7 on the list, and it reads, Trump episode shows why the news industry is suffering a ‘bloodbath’


The contrast between the Google search and the Brave search is striking.


Throughout the years – since 2017 –there have been many times when the Democrat party spoke of a bloodbath in terms of elections, that there would be a “bloodbath” in the United States if Democrats were not elected.


Mainstream media’s insistence upon categorizing Trump’s use of “bloodbath” as violent rhetoric highlights, perhaps, ignorance from the mainstream media about definitions.



From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/bloodbath. Accessed 21 Mar. 2024. the Cambridge English dictionary, BLOODBATH | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary and the Collins English dictionary BLOODBATH definition in American English | Collins English Dictionary (collinsdictionary.com)  each of which is just a finger-walking or a click away on a Google search, provides a few definitions of bloodbath, only one of which uses the word “slaughter.”


Why try to point towards truth when partisanship might be more expedient?

Interestingly, on the third result for “taco” on a Google search, the website about Latino slurs appears. Top Latino Racial Slurs: the top slurs, racial insults, against Latinos (newstaco.com)


Fingers, let’s just walk one more time: type into the Google search bar “’taco’ used pejoratively.” It is not until result number twenty-nine that this writer found an article about First Lady Jill Biden calling people tacos.


Type in “tacos’ used by politicians” and an article appears as number nine in the list. It’s a link to an article about Jill Biden’s apology. No article about her faux pas—only one about her apology.


Might these articles be the “wrap-up smear” that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned? https://youtu.be/GMBeUORJWj4?si=PDJvsax1Hzy2MYL


If you look over your finances, do you see a bloodbath? If so, you might want to cook a meal that is easier on the budget: tacos. You also might want to read more about Dr. Robert Epstein and his work. Avoid the Google search if you want the true story about his work. Try Brave.

 

Elizabeth Dallam Ayoub serves on MFE’s Communications Team. She started her career working for an international company, transitioned into teaching French and Latin while her children were young, and then became a Michigan attorney.


 

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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Michigan Fair Elections. Every article written by an MFE author is generated by the author or editor alone. Links embedded within the article, however, may have been generated by artificial intelligence.


















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