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Google blocked every one of the WSWS’s 45 top search terms (wsws.org)
159 points by fmblwntr 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 136 comments

I have no way to tell if this was deliberate or not, but personally I lost any respect and trust in Google the day they removed the discussion search filter. Before that day I could find common people talking about a product or a political issue, now unless I'm prepared to jump dozens of pages I'm inundated by sites selling that product or affiliated with that political orientation.

I had actually forgotten all about the discussion filter and hadn't noticed it was even removed until reading this comment. I never utilized it much back when it was available but in retrospect can definitely think of cases where this would've come in handy if I had thought to use it.

I immediately thought there must be some clever combination of query modifiers that could roughly reproduce the discussion filter behavior... Of course I'm not the first one with this idea— there seems to be browser extensions[1][2] that accomplish this by appending your search query with:

  intext:forum "post"|inurl:forum|"posts:"|inurl:viewtopic 
It seems to work reasonably well after a couple tests and could probably be improved to catch more discussion sites with some additional piped modifiers if necessary. Anyway, just thought I'd share my findings.

[1]: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/discussions-button...

[2]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-forum-...

> they removed the discussion search filter.

Could you provide more detail on this search filter? I haven't heard about its removal before and it sounds interesting.

For now...

This has been fairly thoroughly debunked:


Has it? it looks like someone posted the link, and a bunch of random people with no real information (who dont work at google) said "I dont believe it.."

They just pointed out a bunch of SEO problems with the site, that doesn't proof or disprove that they have been censored. Especially if their ranking only dropped on specific terms and it dropped suddenly.

Of course, support.google.com opinion on this matter is entirely unbiased :P

Well, considering it's a support forum and none of the people who have answered are affiliated with Google, yeah, it's unbiased.

I don't have any particular say on this issue in particular, but what about the fact that Google can silently remove replies without telling you (which gives the image of non-bias) and further that people may be biased in favour of Google without actually being affiliated with Google?

If it's merely an SEO problem as that page suggests, why does WSWS rank so highly for "socialist news"?

A lot of sites have SEO issues, but this is not what caused the drop. It has effected a large number of left-wing sites (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/02/pers-a02.html and http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/08/goog-a08.html). It also happened directly after Google's new search policy was implemented.

>The WSWS has been blacklisted in searches dealing with history, and in particular historical topics related to the revolutionary struggles of the 20th century. These include the terms “Russian revolution,” “Bolshevik revolution” and “October revolution,” all of which returned results in the top 50 in April

That's probably ... correct.

Why is that correct? Looking at their website they're currently running a lecture series/look back at the Russian revolution: http://www.wsws.org/en/special/1917/chronology.html

None of it seems to be conspiracy theory or low-quality material.

"...what Google, working with the highest levels of the state intelligence apparatus, does not want them to find."

I'd classify that as conspiracy theory.

It is a conspiracy theory.

Do you have a better explanation?

Yeah. The NSA and the CIA doesn't care about WSWS, and Google simply made an editorial decision that these guys don't have a credible or objective view of history and shouldn't be a search result for neutral terms on history. How's that for a non-conspiratorial version?

Since when is Google making "editorial decisions"?

Bad choice of words. "Tuning their search engine" is more apt. Search is intrinsically a subjective domain.

But this "editorial decision" (ahem, "tuning") is in fact a political decision to downgrade results for a site that by any objective measure has a wide, international readership (Alexa global rank, 30-40k). It is also an objective fact that Google has close relations to the state (top federal campaign contributor, regular visitor to the White House, Eric Schmidt book praised by Michael Hayden, etc.). So it is a "conspiracy theory" that Google's actions might be motivated by political considerations? Of course, Google might think so... As for the WSWS, it was recently the subject of editorials throughout the German media for its campaign against Jorg Baberowski, a right-wing historian at Humboldt University who is attempting to whitewash the crimes of the Nazis. If you think that the WSWS is not getting the attention of the state, then you aren't following developments closely.

>But this "editorial decision" (ahem, "tuning") is in fact a political decision to downgrade results for a site that by any objective measure has a wide, international readership (Alexa global rank, 30-40k).

WSWS has a skewed view of history that is outside of what mainstream historians would accept. For that reason displaying them for neutral historical search queries is dishonest. So it seems reasonable that whatever version of search algorithm they updated to might assign them a lower priority.

>It is also an objective fact that Google has close relations to the state (top federal campaign contributor, regular visitor to the White House, Eric Schmidt book praised by Michael Hayden, etc.)

So? Doesn't mean regulatory bodies are interfering in day-to-day operational decision or in this specific instance.

>So it is a "conspiracy theory" that Google's actions might be motivated by political considerations?

Anything is possible but there's no evidence - so yes, it is a "conspiracy theory", especially considering there's an alternative explanation that is more reasonable and doesn't necessitate invoking sinister shadow governmental actions.

Consider the concepts you are using. "skewed view of history," "mainstream historians." According to whom? Google? Amazon? The Hoover Institution? Who make this decision? If you search for "Russian Revolution," the works of Sean McMeekin will be very high, in part because the book is being heavily promoted by the New York Times, Amazon, large publishing houses, etc. And by Google. Yet McMeekin's book is based on largely discredited slanders about German gold financing the Russian Revolution. As soon as Google makes these decisions, it is in fact casting its large, well-financed, foot on the balance of historical truth--in favor of the established, "authoritative," i.e., state- and corporate-sanctioned version of events, whether historical or contemporary. As for "conspiracy theories," the problem is that history is full of conspiracies, and therefore theories based on conspiracies are often true. In any case, I don't believe you have given your "alternative explanation," unless it is the SEO explanation, which has not real factual foundation?

>Consider the concepts you are using. "skewed view of history," "mainstream historians."

The first line in their 'Russian Revolution' chronology uses terms like 'bourgeois' - a loaded ideological term used exclusively by Communists and Marxists. It's not hard to see what their spin is.

> I don't believe you have given your "alternative explanation," unless it is the SEO explanation, which has not real factual foundation?

But I did give you an alternate explanation - you just prefer your crazy tinfoil conspiracy. Flat-Earthers are the same. They ask for a picture of a round earth to prove to them the earth is round, and when you show them one, they say NASA faked it.

Again, you are inserting your own political prejudices. This is of course fine, but it is not Google to do. (Bourgeoisie is in fact a term that is broadly used in social scientific writing. While it is particularly associated with Marxism to refer to the class that owns the means of production, it is both more broadly used and arose prior to Marx). And to compare the analysis being made with flat-earthers is ridiculous. Google's new search algorithm had a direct and immediate impact on a broad range of left-wing and progressive websites. The VP more or less said what they were doing--combating "fake news," as part of a campaign supported by the state and the corporate media--and then the results came: a fall in search traffic to left-wing sites. The conclusion is fairly self-evident, in my view, but in any case it certainly is not unfounded.

Since they started trying to stamp out "fake news".

I think you mean that it's a conspiracy, and I think there are plenty of better explanations than Google working secretly with governments to promote capitalism.

It may not be but if Google's goal is to promote authoritative sources there's no reason to consider WSWS to be authoritative for those search terms, imo. I'm not saying I agree with their goal, just that this seems consistent with it, and I imagine that's what the reply was getting at.

What does "authoritative" mean anyway? I don't want my search results to be authoritative, I want them to be relevant, varied, and interesting. Google is not an encyclopedia. Google fails recently at providing varied results, on any topic you get a Wikipedia article, a load of the same blogspam from sites like Guardian, Atlantic, or Daily Mail, and then the same 1-2 paragraph article repeated 15 times on content farm websites. It used to be a lot easier to find weird corners of the web.

> Google is not an encyclopedia. Google fails recently at providing varied results, on any topic you get a Wikipedia article

That's not recent. Google has been returning Wikipedia as a near universal top result for a decade.

Regarding content farms, they overwhelmingly smashed the content farms with their panda & penguin updates years ago and have refined the destruction of content farms since then. Very few remain, much less sustain, outside of temporary niche corners.

Fox News, Russia Today, et al also feature no small amount of real news that provides a strong foundation to build their whole propaganda operation on. The SEP/WSWS are frequently described as a cult-like organization within the left, I have no problem with google penalizing them as a reliable source.

As an advocacy group for an extreme ideology do you think they have an objective view of history? If a person does a neutral search on, say, the history of the Russian Revolution, should they be up there?

What is an "extreme ideology"? The WSWS is a Marxist organization. Of course, it has a specific view of the Russian Revolution--namely, the view of those who led and organized it, opposed to both Stalinist and western interpretations. Who is Google to decide that this conception of the Russian Revolution should be removed from searches, that people don't want to have access to it, in favor of promoting the New York Times and other publications attacking the Russian Revolution and reviving old right-wing slanders (e.g., Lenin was paid with German Gold)?

>What is an "extreme ideology"? The WSWS is a Marxist organization.

You've answered your question.

"None of it seems to be conspiracy theory or low-quality material."

Even if it were, if it "wins" the pagerank contest it should be represented in the results accordingly.

I don't go to google for a human-curated yahoo-style directory service. I go to google for search - specifically for pagerank-style search results.

It's not low quantity but it seems very filtered. Recently finished reading:


The Russian revolution was co-opted by Lenin and the Bolsheviks who were funded by the German foreign office and more than anything else were unscrupulous about who they murdered. 25 million people were dead by the end of the revolution (early 20s).

There's not so much as a hint of that just scanning though the titles.

Interesting, is there anywhere I can read about this aside from the book you've linked? Although I am a Communist, I am critical of the Bolsheviks and I have an open mind.

Wish I had more to suggest, but Wiki has some good articles on it.


I think there's a documentary on Neflix UK. The cover some of it. I would suggest looking at Ukrainian sources --but generally speaking, my understanding is you can find much of the information in Russian archives as the Soviets kept good records thinking those would never see the light of day.

incidentally, here's what WSWS has to say about McMeekin: http://intsse.com/wswspdf/en/articles/2017/06/30/mcme-j30.pd...

What do you mean?

Because they are an ideological advocacy group so they have a revisionist perspective on certain parts of history. What it means is that they don't speak objectively on those periods - so they shouldn't be returned as a search result if neutral terms are used.


Ideological flamebait is against the HN guidelines, so would you please not post it here?

If you have a substantive point to make, make it thoughtfully; otherwise please don't comment until you do.


> The physical censorship implemented by Google is so extensive that of the top 150 search terms that, as late as April 2017, connected the WSWS with readers, 145 no longer do so.

> These findings make clear that the decline in Google search traffic to the WSWS is not the result of some technical issue, but a deliberate policy of censorship.

...or that they have not been keeping up with their SEO, are getting edged out by AMP sites, tripped over some other google rule, etc...

This is partially addressed here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/08/goog-a08.html and here http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/02/pers-a02.html

The change has effected a broad array of left-wing websites, with different SEO methods. It has also happened directly after Google's new algorithm, which stated clearly what they were planning on doing.

FWIW, searching on Bing "russian revolution" wsws.org shows up on page 5.

Searching on duckduckgo, "russian revolution" shows wsws.org on 80th place. Didn't show up for "proletariat".

The irony: they prefer to cry wolf instead of doing SEO and don't want to be called a conspiracy theory site.

I guess they'd rather play the victim and try to get free PR.

Bullshit. A Google search for "socialist news" returns wsws.org as the #2 response. #1 is socialistworks.org, a competing site.

> the company instructed its search evaluators to flag pages returning “conspiracy theories” or “upsetting” content unless “the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.”

"Socialist news" would be one of the searches that "indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint."

The relevant search terms that have been downgraded are "socialism", "socialist", etc. Obviously, if you search WSWS or socialist website or socialist news you will get the WSWS. It is the more general terms that are at issue. These used to (up to April, just before the new policy was unveiled) return the WSWS very prominently. Now they do not.

> These findings make clear that the decline in Google search traffic to the WSWS is not the result of some technical issue, but a deliberate policy of censorship.

Quite a claim.

It would be very interesting to prove this, but their argument is mostly circumstantial so far.

Even if Googlers had no sense of right and wrong, just knowing the number of socialists or socialist-leaning googlers there are, there is no way this would ever fly. It's not like anyone has super special access to modify the search engine algorithm and rankings individually. All changes go through probably dozens of people at least. One of them would presumably raise the issue internally(or leak to press) if something so nefarious was happening.

How many socialist googlers do you think there are? I imagine the number is really, really small. I have plenty of friends who work at google and a disproportionate number of socialist friends, and neither group would be able to tolerate each other at a party. Not saying that none exist, but it's way outside of my experience if it's the case.

The fact that Google is refusing to deny it is, in my view, pretty strong circumstantial evidence.

Not necessarily. Google may not comment on these things as a matter of policy; for example, let's say that Google is required by some law to censor a particular search result. If they are in the habit of announcing their censorship decisions, then their silence on that one site would be non-silence. They would have to lie about the site instead. So, from a company liability perspective, Google is cautious about revealing information.

That's true. But this isn't about Google releasing a whole class of information by policy. It's about them responding, or not, to a specific question of the form, "We run a legitimate website on the topic that the American government has censored more often, and more harshly, than any other topic. Could you please confirm that our recent drop in search rankings is not the result of deliberate action by Google employees?"

That is... a really silly position to take.

(I work for Google but on nothing remotely related)

??? I'd be shocked if anyone who could comment was even were aware of the claim (until it hit the HN front page).

Unfortunately, some companies are becoming too powerful. Concurrency must be encouraged, it's always good.

At first glance, this looks extremely ironic. Don't Socialists advocate for a centralization of economic capital (among others like political and news) or do I misunderstand? If purist socialists had there way, wouldn't there only be one search engine?

Obviously it would be great if others could compete, but I think it's simply a market gap (innovation, capital investment, etc) at this point and not for lack of competitors trying. Many died out (Yahoo!, Excite, Altavista), some survive as niche (DuckDuckGo), some still exist (Bing, Ask/Jeebs), and some are still massive but serve other markets (Baidu, Yandex).

Google has become so successful that their search is very advanced compared to upstarts. The more Google learns from their massive index corpus and userbase, the further ahead they get. Baidu might have a comparable dataset and userbase, but they specialize in different markets with different languages and cultures.

>Don't Socialists advocate for a centralization of economic capital (among others like political and news) or do I misunderstand?

Not necessarily (distributed economic planning, comumnal planning and indeed some (though not I) advance market Socialism), and further, things like search can be decentralised, as I'm sure mosts Socialists would agree with if aware that such technology exists.

>If purist socialists had there way, wouldn't there only be one search engine?

No, I see no reason to think that. This is largely stemming from the myth that "everyone has one car under Socialism"; it neglects that aside from seeking profit, different cars have different uses and advantages. It's probably the same with search engines and GNU/Linux distros.

>Google has become so successful that their search is very advanced compared to upstarts.

I agree, and I think that in a world where there is less incentive to keep secrets (though of course there is always incentive, such as personal pride, mastery, or even embarrassment over how your code looks!) because profit doesn't need to be protected from "theives", such research might even be public for others to benefit from. The learning technology can be free. Google would not have to collect data "on the sly", perhaps.

However the response to this is - would people willingly (and by this I mean when properly and fully informed of what they are doing) give over this data that Google uses to learn in such a way? If the answer is no, perhaps it's time to consider the ethical ramifications of such 'learning'.

I was not being ironic. And I believe in capitalism, why did you thought the opposite, may I ask? Capitalism advocates the free market and concurrency. If a company become too powerful, it's not good. Once a friend mine had a business that depended of Google Adwords. One day he woke up and his account was blocked. Google did not answered his emails, just automatic responses. His legal online business broke after some weeks. I read several similar stories related to other companies, like Amazon (Affiliates).

This is why http://levelnews.org was created. It is a place to find real-time independent, progressive public-interest news.

If you would like to know more about the project, the blog is here: http://blog.levelnews.org

Much of the codebase is open source and can be found on GitHub if you'd like to contribute: https://github.com/levelnewsorg

If they haven't been blacklisted for spreading conspiracy theories, they now probably should be.

Google adjusts its search results all the time for business reasons but also for political or legal reasons. The PC description is "tuning the search algorithm". That may encompass any number of effects to the search results or Google interfaces. While I hate the idea of regulation, Google Search is such a basic utility in the US that it really should be regulated by the government.

Regulation is done on utilities like cell providers, cable/internet providers and consumers are usually aware of multiple choices. If I ask a non-tech user to name a search engine other than Google, they likely can't. So users do their search and interact with the results they are presented.

Edit: Removed my personal experience. Added thoughts on regulation.

How would that work? You want Congress to determine SEO rank?

I expect it would prevent making changes that are not firmly based organic search quality; not changes that benefit Google's other businesses including advertising, maps, plus, etc. or political views.

So every algorithm change would require congressional approval. That seems very untenable.

Would you have the US regulation to apply only to results served for US users, or everybody?

I'm an anti-censorship extremist, but this doesn't feel to me like censorship. After all, the site is being discussed here on HN, and I'm sure it could also be found through many other search engines, portals, or whatever.

Even if we get to the point that certain pages are only likely to be found via 10-20 year old technologies, so what? Those technologies were invented for text articles and still work well for them, and text articles are what matter most. Similar things are also true about the runners-up in "matter most", which in some order are straightforward image, sound and video files.

Then you're probably not an anti-censorship extremist. If (big if) what the post is alleging is true, then it is pretty egregious.

So not getting #1 is search results is censorship?

The word is becoming meaningless dribble in the hands of axe-grinding cretins who believe that everyone must be forced to read their material.

When Google, Facebook, and others announced that they were banning "fake news", many on the left cheered.

But it was probably naive to assume Google would limit itself to censoring political opinions with which one disagrees.

Trots != huffpo reading liberals.

Most people on the actual left weren't caught up in the "fake news/Russia/Russian fake news stole the election" hysteria because none of them supported Clinton in the first place.

I don't quite understand the snark in your response - were you, unlike the purported cheering liberals, fond of the purveyors of fake news?

I don't believe it was ever about "fake news", rather it's about establishing "acceptable opinion".

As the article said:

> In a set of guidelines issued to Google evaluators in March, elaborated in April by Google VP of Engineering Ben Gomes, the company instructed its search evaluators to flag pages returning “conspiracy theories” or “upsetting” content unless “the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.” The changes to the search rankings of WSWS content are consistent with such a mechanism.

Notice how Google said "alternative viewpoint". Alternative to what? Google seems to be establishing a new orthodoxy.

In this context, I read "alternative viewpoint" as a polite way of saying "complete bullshit".

Why not say "factually inaccurate information" if that is what you mean?

I'm assuming the poster is pointing out that regardless of your political leaning, it might be naive to blindly trust these companies in their battle against "fake news" as it can inadvertently (or, purposefully) lead to censorship. Well, I suppose it is censorship in any case.

"Fake news" is a bullshit category. The purpose of talking about it is not to protect poor impressionable idiots like us from misinformation. The purpose is to continue pretending that the Democrat party doesn't have to make any changes in order to appeal to a voting majority. Now they're talking about Jerry Brown... it's as if they're determined to keep Trump in office for 7 more years, and get those 38 Republican legislatures it will take to pass all those horrific Constitutional amendments that the bigots have planned.

He's saying be very very careful what you wish for.

You can think of it this way, do you really really want some particular corporation or government agency to have that tool in their toolbox? Because if they do they'll use it.

Kinda like right to work laws designed to prevent 'illegal' emigrants from working. You really really want the government to be able to prevent you from getting a job?

Fake news is just the Bogeyman of the day, a pretext to exercise censorship.

The news that the left cheered when google and facebook censored fake news, is itself fake news.

For example:

Salon/AlterNet: Fighting fake news: Google’s new fact-check tool attempts to combat a global issue


Salon/AlterNet's main concern was apparently that it didn't do enough.

> this doesn’t do anything to directly combat the use of Google’s platform to spread false or offensive stories.”

Lots of people think the Democrat party is the Left.

Meh, I have a hard time caring about this because I want Google to block propaganda and misinformation. From my experience, socialist websites and forums tend to ignore, rewrite, or white wash the history of communism in Russia/USSR, Venezuela, and even North Korea. So much so that the No True Scotsman fallacy should just be the No True Socialist fallacy. Go check out /r/socialism if you want your head to spin. According to that sub, there were no famines in the USSR, Stalin never killed anyone, and everything bad we hear about Venezuela is just media bias. And then when it's objectively true and can't be dodged, they aren't really socialists.

...how far does "propaganda and misinformation" go? Political parties also put out propaganda and misinformation, as do businesses and individuals.


But what if someone, somehow, through some extraordinary bit of research, does find evidence contradicting a widely supported claim? Not the soviet famine claim, but e.g. David Glantz did research and found that the early years of the USSR's involvement in World War II had been substantially misrepresented due to the USSR censoring many of those records to save face. Prior to his publication of that work, it was the "truth" that the USSR launched no major offensives until 1942-3. After the publication of that work, that was no longer the "truth" (the USSR had in fact launched many offensives and then purged them from the historical record in order to appear infallible).

Sure, new historical discoveries (based on evidence!) deserve to be published.

But do you believe Google should keep search results that deny the Holocaust? I personally see no value in that trash and if I was Google, I'd blacklist that stuff too.

Whoah whoah whoah, how is marketing different than propoganda?

Your examples are cherry-picked UGC from Reddit (not a good brush to tar any viewpoint with).

Are there specific WSWS examples, or is the the concept of advocating socialism which is false to you?

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist."

Ironic because Socialist forums are heavily moderated and quickly ban those who don't repeat the talking points. They hate having their ideas challenged, but get mad that a public company won't give them web traffic? Cry me a river.

>Ironic because Socialist forums are heavily moderated

I'm a member of at least one such forum which isn't heavily moderated.

>and quickly ban those who don't repeat the talking points

The forum I use prides itself on allowing such discussion.

>They hate having their ideas challenged

I love having my ideas challenged, and I love arguing, who are you constructing a straw man of?

Give some examples if you're going to name names.

did this website do this?

>From my experience, socialist websites and forums tend to ignore, rewrite, or white wash the history of communism in Russia/USSR

Your experience is irrelevant, because we're talking about a particular case, not a hypothetical website. Do you have evidence that your experience applies in this particular case, or are you just generalising? For a user named after a philosopher, you don't seem to be very keen to apply logic in this circumstance, perhaps because of bias or bad prior experience.

Not to mention you're grouping in several tendencies and ideologies and opinions within a very broad movement that's lasted 200 years to date in your criticism, which is at best inaccurate and at worst disingenuous.

>Your experience is irrelevant, because we're talking about a particular case, not a hypothetical website.

It's also true in this case. WSWS is a political and a ideological advocacy site with a non-mainstream interpretation of world history. If you want an objective view of the Russian Revolution, this is not the site you would go to - so I have no issues with Google tuning their search engine to suppress them in the search results for those kinds of queries.

>WSWS is a political and a ideological advocacy site

I'm always a little amused when people use "ideology" in this way. Marx said that ideology promotes "false consciousness" about political power structures; by this measure, that which exposes false consciousness is anti-ideological. So by this measure, WSWS is non-ideological.

On the other hand, Zizek claims that for someone to actually be captured by ideology, the ideology must be first presented to them as non-ideological. Can you see the conundrum? Ideology isn't an illusion, rather, to be rid of ideology may be to put on the glasses rather than take them off, to use Zizek's example in the film They Live.

>with a non-mainstream interpretation of world history

Perhaps it is the mainstream that is ideological, because it's true ideology that holds the most power!

>So by this measure, WSWS is non-ideological.

And by every other (sane) measure, Socialism, Communism, Marxism are regular ideologies.

>Perhaps it is the mainstream that is ideological, because it's true ideology that holds the most power!

Playing with language is fun, I agree.

Who determines what is misinformation?

A private company with no oversight, obviously.

> A private company with no oversight, obviously.

Would you prefer a state/government entity? Or a political organization? Because god knows that socialist regimes are so hell-bent on promoting truth and impartial reports on inconvenient facts.

No oversight whatsoever... none... obviously.

And really, would you seriously prefer the government to set search rankings? Because they have no conflict of interest either, right?

It's almost like "truth" isn't an absolute thing, but an ongoing discussion... which has become fractured!

And yet there are observable and objective facts. Water freezes at 32 degrees. The sky is blue. Grass is green.

When a source repeatedly tells you not to believe your own eyes, but offers no valid counter-argument--you should be suspicious. I'm fine with Google/Facebook or whoever filtering out known dishonest and inaccurate websites, whether they are intentionally malicious or just ignorant.

So WSWS is a known dishonest and/or inaccurate website?

WSWS? Oh yeah. It's an extreme left site that makes no attempt at any objectivity.

I hate to have to ask again. Lack of objectivity isn't dishonest or inaccurate.

ob·jec·tive (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

So is WSWS a dishonest and/or inaccurate website?

If you notice, they seemed to be flagged for neutral historical search queries. Things like "Russian Revolution". Someone reading it would get a viewpoint that is not supported by mainstream historians. So yes, dishonest.

Do you have any proof that the content they host is dishonest? I'm seriously asking.

EDIT This page doesn't seem dishonest: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/07/twrr-a07.html Are you saying Google has examined the historical accuracy of this page and found it lacking?

The first line in their chronology uses terms like 'bourgeois' - a loaded term that is exclusively used by Communists and Marxists. I wouldn't trust it as a source for a middle school essay.

I'm sorry you don't see why an ideological advocacy organization would be de-prioritized for neutral search queries by a search engine. If you don't get it, I cannot bridge that gap for you. A Marxist perspective on the Russian Revolution is interesting and there's value to it but it has to be rooted in that context, otherwise it's just dishonest.

Up on the top of this mountain my water freezes at 31 degrees! You are a liar and propagandist.

> When a source repeatedly tells you not to believe your own eyes, but offers no valid counter-argument--you should be suspicious

Who put Google in charge of determining what is true and what is fakenews? And how are you entirely comfortable with that?

Would not it be better to explain why something is a propaganda and what is its purpose rather than block it?

This is ironic, right?

so much reductionism, there isn't one left. there're factions and they do have different opinions on the previous political projects.

Sorry, but the tankies who think nothing bad has ever been done in the name of communism are just as foolish as the InfoWars junkies screaming about chem-trails.

Do you have evidence that this website in question is a "tankie" website? Or does it offer a different viewpoint, or a range of viewpoints?

you want them to block what you think is misinformation, but what they paint as misinformation might be very different.

Sometimes sites are "punished" for aggressive / misleading "SEO" tactics.

Gee, wouldn't it be great if we could just look up the open-source code for the most popular search engine on the "open" Internet?

Given the amount of power and money they now have, effectively having "won the game," it seems ethical to me to open-source their entire search algorithm.

Given the heavy reliance on ML Google has for search these days, I'm not sure that would help much.

They would have to open source the indexed data and training data too, assuming you wanted to know why site A doesn't rank well for term X.

Buy Google from Alphabet and have at it.

But if it's open, people will game it...

Do people game open encryption?

Just because they both use the word "open", does not make them structurally the same. Show me a ranking algorithm I can't game...

I wonder if it'd be possible... (i know it'd be extremely challenging) - to have some sort of open-source-ai search engine that runs on the blockchain... -- something that anyone could use the API to make a frontend interface ala google, but all the rankings/etc... are controlled by the blockchain, and people using the sites could maybe thumbs up/down if it was a good search and then the AI could use those indicators to hone it's algorithms.

EDIT: I've noticed all the replies and I'd like to acknowledge them. Unfortunately I feel very stupid for not screenshotting what I saw when I searched one hour ago. I now see 62,900 results, and I can load up to page 6. I can't prove that I was not able to load page 2 before, but it's true.

My original comment remains unedited below.


For a concrete demonstration of pathological de-ranking, do a query for "site:web.archive.org".

I get "59,000 results" on page 1, but page 2 will never load!

There are a few results, which proves that a) web.archive.org are not using robots.txt or other blocking techniques, and b) that Google's infrastructure is inhaling content. But it's invisible.

Think about how sad this is - once a site goes dead, it's offline, even though the content is still publicly accessible. If only that context was indexed using a decent search engine.

Practically speaking, I totally acknowledge that archived content is complex to surface; sites can be pulled offline because content needs to be disappeared for any number of reasons, etc. I recognize the general difficulty of getting this right. So I'm not _really_ arguing "if only this were surfaced", because it's unfair to - I'm more saying "hey look, this is what it looks like when something has been completely killed," as a demonstrable and extreme datapoint.

Page 2 loads for me, though there's a slight delay.

Page two for "site:web.archive.org" loads immediately on Google, no delay.

Page 2 and on loaded just fine for me without any issue.

Your comment says more about you than about Google.

That search works just fine for me.

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