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There's a bit of mixing of correlation and causation here.

Most reasonable people would consider Google to be an inferior search engine if it surfaced results from the Daily Caller, Kos or Breitbart above those of NPR, BBC and the WSJ.

Search engines therefore surface the more authoritative / linked to sources first. These smaller sites are trying to achieve through regulation a level of prominence that they can't get in the marketplace.




It seems though that they now surface "authoritative" sites over clear user intent in their search.

For instance, search for "has Infowars ever been correct" on Google and then Duck Duck Go. For Google, you will see results that have nothing to do with the clear intent of the query, such as Wikipedia and mainstream news articles trashing Infowars. For Duck, you will get several results that actually answer the question.

Since Google pioneered natural language processing for search queries, and these sorts of queries worked fine years ago, the only conclusion is that Google is actively burying certain results to manipulate the narrative. Why does their natural language search break all of a sudden when I want to find out something that is unpopular?


Doing that search gave me a Quora link as the first result, and then two links to infowars...which is an awful result.


I'm seeing 2 out of 10 links as Infowars, links #3 and #4. The top two are Quora. mediamatters and rational wiki are examples of other front page results.

They all directly address the query. Why exactly are they "awful"?


You seem in your answers to be prioritizing "direct answer to the question regardless of reliability" rather than "useful information about the question's subject." I suppose there's an argument to be made for that, but it's an argument that leads to prioritizing a search engine that will return the answer "orange pinstripe" to the question "what is the color of the sky" over a search engine that returns a scientific article about how sunlight behaves in atmosphere.

(In any case, this all seems a bit orthogonal to whether Google is right or wrong to prioritize widely-recognized news outlets over smaller ones when it surfaces searches for news articles, doesn't it?)


I don't believe it to be orthogonal. There is a deeper philosophical question that has barely been touched on what search engines should return in response to user queries, which also applies to surfacing news. In the past with Alta Vista, word matches were the heuristic and it was extremely obvious as to how to measure the quality of the result. Now you've got very abstract heuristics, such as intent of the user, trustworthiness of the source, whether the source is healthy and good for society, the correctness or honesty of the content, how much revenue will be made with particular set of results, etc. and the public is being left out of the discussion as to which heuristics are important to apply.


How about as general rule of thumb, I tell search engines what to search for instead of the other way around?


That's wild. My results look like this: https://i.imgur.com/AtrMoLs.png


The person you are responding to is referring to DDG.


Infowars won't actually accuratley answer of it's been correct so Google is following the users clear intent and giving them good answers


You will get results that respond to the question. That's not the same correct answers.


How could a search engine ever know what the "correct" answer is? Relevance is more important.

In any case, Google's results for this particular query are certainly less "correct". They are more of a non sequitur.


> How could a search engine ever know what the "correct" answer is? Relevance is more important.

I strongly disagree, IMO actively surfacing a highly-relevant but incorrect result is worse than not surfacing anything at all.

As for determining what the "correct" answer is, the authority of the source is certainly a good place to start. Obviously nothing is fool-proof, but Yahoo! Answers is certainly less likely to be correct than Wikipedia, for example.


Let's continue with my particular query as an example. I already don't trust Alex Jones and Quora and Yahoo answers. I have my own opinion as to which sources I trust and which ones I do not. So first I would internally give different weights to results based on how trustworthy I find them. Then, I would look at the actual content, and look to cross reference the details to assert their validity.

Now with the Google results, there is nothing even remotely relevant to my search, so I don't even have candidates with which I could do further research into their veracity.

Once again I think Google just thinks they are smarter than the average user, but it's making their search engine useless for certain queries.

And I don't like the idea that a search engine should be doing the critical thinking for users. That's more dangerous than the content they are supposedly protecting us from.


So your problem is that Google considers what you consider to be trustworthy sources to be neither relevant nor trustworthy? Have you considered the possibility that what you consider to be trustworthy sources are neither relevant nor trustworthy?


The problem is that I don't trust Google to define what "trustworthy" means. I'd prefer to get results that match on more clear heuristics and make the decision on trustworthiness myself.


The Google algorithm: sites gain reputation through the number of links to them from other high reputation sites.

I don’t want Google to have an opinion. I don’t want Google to second guess me.

We are a long way, I hope, from, “Hey, Siri, what’s your opinion about....”


[flagged]


The Chinafication of the US is complete. The gatekeepers know better than us and should give us the results that reinforce their echo chamber rather than the ones we are looking for, and the public has been convinced this is the right thing to do.

If this were happening 15 years ago, people would be outraged instead of supporting it. What kind of nonsense is this that the search engine should reinforce political stances? My political beliefs are my choice, and if I want to reinforce them, that's my prerogative. The search engine should not make that choice for me. Well unless you are baidu.com and backed by a one-party system.


It's not the responsibility of search engines to engage willful ignorance with a plurality of perspectives or debunk fringe political nutbaggery that stands opposed to the precepts of civilized society, but I'm glad they mostly do.


Regardless, that should be a personal choice to make.


Google has to rank its results somehow, in order to limit the number of results returned to some sensible amount (rather than returning literal hundreds of GBs of links for common queries, if it considered them all to be equally "first.")

Other search engines are no different.

You make your "personal choice" of ranking algorithm, by choosing which search engine to use.


"if you don't like it then leave" is not helpful. There's no good reason a search engine couldn't provide an interface to let you choose how you want to rank and filter results. In fact there used to be an advanced interface in the past the provided a crude version of this.

A great benefit to Google would be that SEO would be hard to game because everyone has different filters. That is already sort of the case but it should be the user, not Google, deciding which narratives and aspects to filter.


The trick is to include a variety of results early. Sources often can be grouped into blocks which return mostly the same results. Better to reduce the quantity of returns from the top block in order to include on the front page a few from the second and third tier.

Or maybe a text search equivalent to Yelp’s “re-search in this area” (after narrowing the map). Perhaps to be able to select some results and hit a “more like this” button.


>For instance, search for "has Infowars ever been correct" on Google and then Duck Duck Go. F

I suspect Duck duck go's results come from Bing based on the result similarities.


"For instance, search for "has Infowars ever been correct" on Google and then Duck Duck Go." Wow. Completely different results.


Right, the assumption is that if Daily Caller, Kos, and Breitbart became more popular then Google would surface them as authoritative.

First, there's a popular belief amongst their readership (for whatever reason) that this is not the case and that Google actively works against sites like these. Furthermore, if it doesn't currently work against these sites, it's taken for granted that if (for some reason) Zero Hedge became more popular than WSJ Google would work against it.

Secondly, if it were the case that Google would surface Zero Hedge over WSJ purely because of popularity is that ok? Is that what should happen? If Google does want to curate rather than using a "blind" algorithm does that change the way it's regulated and what it's responsible for?

I think this is something we haven't quite figured out as a free society. We recognize that an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people (please don't over index on who the quote is attributed to).

Yes there are a multitude of media outlets on the internet which the citizenry can use to educate themselves. Are there moral hazards when the majority of the citizenry arrive at one or two doorsteps in-spite of the multitude of alternatives? What is the risk if what's served from that doorstep is detrimental to the republic?


> First, there's a popular belief amongst their readership (for whatever reason) that this is not the case and that Google actively works against sites like these.

Breitbart in particular has run a long series of articles featuring leaked discussions from within Google where there are calls internally to remove or penalize Breitbart from organic listings, and deactivate their AdWords.

They also discussed censorship on Facebook and Twitter amoung others.

They run these under the umbrella “Masters of the Universe”:

https://www.breitbart.com/masters-of-the-universe/


They should do so. Breitbart isn't really a news site; if you wanted to dignify it, you'd compare it to Salon, which also doesn't belong in news summaries on Google.


That wasn’t meant as an endorsement of Breitbart, to be sure. But parent raised the question of why people think this, and trust in media is a crucial point these days.

Breitbart articles discussing Google censorship aren’t radical alt-right preaching. You can strongly believe that Google is making informed and conscientious decisions about censorship and rankings on their platform, and then read a different perspective on Breitbart to understand the other viewpoint.

For example, in response to a question as to why when doing an image search on Google for “idiot” that Trump is the result (Currently he is 3 of the top 10 results. I mean, that is pretty funny actually) Sundar Pichai swore to Congress that Google does not manually intervene on any search result. Is that really credible?

Maybe it’s a little hard to quantify what is a “real” news site anymore. Some people assume this is self-evident, but I am skeptical of everything I read.

I sometimes find it entertaining to see what slant opinionated news sites will put on a story and compare it against the MSM.


>For example, in response to a question as to why when doing an image search on Google for “idiot” that Trump is the result

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=idiot

Is Sundar and Microsoft working together now? But wait, are they also paying off Duck Duck Go??

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=idiot&ia=images

These conspiratorial arguments that search engines are politically biased stems from technical illiteracy and/or a lack of critical thinking. The arguments are used as a distraction by certain people who want Americans to disregard any new information that may paint them in a negative light - and it is working on a subset of Americans.


That example was meant to be funny. That’s not to say there is not evidence of direct intervention in search rankings when the algorithm results were undesireable.

It’s beyond question that Google manually intervenes in Search results in some cases. That could be entirely innocuous or concerningly dubious. The question is exactly how, how often, and should they be accountable for it?


>It’s beyond question that Google manually intervenes in Search results in some cases.

If it's "beyond question" then it should be easy for you to provide evidence, right?

As with most conspiratorial arguments, you're trying to protect your opinion by using a false premise (and prevent people from questioning it).


Why is it beyond questioning?


> Breitbart articles discussing Google censorship aren’t radical alt-right preaching.

That may be narrowly true of a particular article but it isn't true of the newspaper as a whole.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bannon

Bannon himself called Breitbart "the platform for the alt- right".


Real news sites post reported news. Breitbart digests news from real news sites. It's essentially a glamorized group blog, like Daily Kos. In fact, Breitbart is basically the right-wing version of Talking Points Memo, another group blog dressed up to look like a news site.

Fox News is a sharply right-wing news site with a very strong editorial bias. I don't like Fox News, but I can't argue that it doesn't belong in the same bracket as CNN. Breitbart does not.


This is mostly true. But, for example, they’ve interviewed Trump in the Oval Office. So not entirely un-credentialed.

You’ll say; This says more about Trump than it does about Breitbart.


No, I'll say that group blogs are a legitimate thing, and sometimes they get big-ticket interviews, and every once in awhile they even break a story. But that doesn't make them news organizations.

I'm not saying that sites like Breitbart should be buried (boycotts, though, seem fair game). I actually like Talking Points Memo every once in awhile. But I don't use blogs as my primary news source and Google shouldn't promote blogs as if they are.


CNN, MSNBC, WSJ, WaPo, and the Washington Times are not news sites either. They are mouthpieces in journalist clothing.


Interesting contention - who are they mouthpieces for?


One easy example is WaPo and the time they posted 16 negative Bernie Sanders stories in less than a day during the Democratic primaries:

https://fair.org/home/washington-post-ran-16-negative-storie...

Ever since Bernie has made Amazon a target, considering Bezos owns both. For example he was able to berate them into increase their minimum wage. Some sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/09/05/bernie-sanders-introduce...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-11/bernie-sa...

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/05/bernie_sa...

Just like most big tech, the leadership is in bed with the corporate democrats, who are in turn in bed with the military industrial complex, big pharma, and Wall Street.


Do you have any examples of what you would consider to be legit journalism?


theintercept.com, therealnews.com, Max Blumenthal, Dan Cohen, Aaron Mate, Abby Martin, Caitlin Johnstone, Rania Khalek, and Kyle Kulinski are just a few.


Which they should

While it isn't quite as bad I'd compare Breitbart more to Der strummer the Nazi Propaganda rag then to partisan newspapers or blogs.

Racist and bigoted propaganda is what you'll see over and over in it's pages. Stuff like claims islamists burnt down Germany oldest church.

I'd say it's Google's societal duty to censor them


> Yes there are a multitude of media outlets on the internet which the citizenry can use to educate themselves. Are there moral hazards when the majority of the citizenry arrive at one or two doorsteps in-spite of the multitude of alternatives? What is the risk if what's served from that doorstep is detrimental to the republic?

As it turns out, we have figured a lot of this out. It turns out that a good way of deciding what is worth people's attention is to treat a link as a vote. We shouldn't be surprised or alarmed when that surfaces a few main choices, as most of everything is crap.

However as happens in almost every sphere of life, there's a good chance that the good stuff rises to the top (that would be that meritocracy that right wingers say they're fond of). Outranking the BBC for news is hard - it should be.

What its not for you to decide - even if you do suddenly start to decide to write in the style of John Stuart Mill - is that you like some ideas better than others and that you want to start forcing things on people that they neither want nor asked for in the name of 'balance'


Unfortunately, that’s not a good system. It would be an okay system (the phrase “worst possible except for all the alternatives” refuses to leave my mind on this) except for the fairly major problem that links and clicks can be automated, turning that into a bidding war. Propaganda of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich… and whoever they want to manipulate.

And that’s even without the problem that the people running the papers/channels are themselves both powerful and capable of having agendas that don’t need to be aligned with those of their readers.

Unfortunately, “what is true (news|science|morality|politics|economics|history)?” is very much not a solved problem.


> except for the fairly major problem that links and clicks can be automated, turning that into a bidding war.

I mean no disrespect by this but I'm inclined to think Google knows more about the issue of link and click fraud than you do.


Oh indeed, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Most of what I know about it comes from their engineers explaining how they fight it — and that includes my awareness of how catastrophic it would be if they did nothing and only used the original PageRank algorithm without compensating for it.


Counting links isn’t a meritocracy, it’s a popularity contest. Those are not the same thing.

There is a reason that publications in Nature aren’t decided by Reddit votes, and it’s not because nobody can figure out how to integrate the two.

The question is: Is a simple popular majority a good way to decide what news all people should see?

It’s a great way to see what the majority echo chamber wants to hear, but that’s not really a good way to have a well-informed population.


> Secondly, if it were the case that Google would surface Zero Hedge over WSJ purely because of popularity is that ok? Is that what should happen?

Yes.

Obviously discard any SEO trickery. But if Zero Hedge is being cited more frequently, being chosen from search results more frequently, etc. then people have found it more helpful, and presumably other people would find the same.

The whole premise of democracy (both the form of literal governance and the general philosophy) is that most of the people are correct most of the time. There exist other algorithms to combine human opinion, but they are wrong more often.

Yes, most political pundits were wrong in predicting Clinton wound win in 2016. But I don't think it makes sense for Google to try and "manually" curate that.


Zero Hedge is a conspiracy blog published by anonymous authors. If people are clicking it in search results more frequently than actual news sites, that is in itself a problem.


What's an "actual news site" though? Major news outlets also regularly publish unfounded conspiracy theories (e.g. russia gate, WMD in Iraq, etc). The question is do you like yours flavored with anonymity or government funding?

The point is that its not a search engines job to make that determination. People will decide for themselves and whatever the algorithm is, it should seek to remove the personal biases of the implementers and be blind. It should seek to serve the asker not change the asker.

I feel like there could be a term, similar to "uncanny valley" where instead of detecting the in-human traits of something attempting to appear human we see bias in something attempting to be unbiased.


If you pre-suppose that news orgs are the same thing as conspiracy-mongers, you're going to have a hard time defining news sites as distinct from not-news sites. Most people don't start from that assumption and find the distinction useful, though.


I don't believe justinmchase pre-supposed anything.

They fairly pointed out the evidence of mainstream news sources promulgating conspiracy theories.


I missed the evidence, let alone evidence.


> russia gate, WMD in Iraq


That's not evidence of anything, it's just an outline of someone's screwball opinion. Just like 'NASA is a hoax-making organization (Moon stuff)' does not contain any evidence but simply outlines, in shorthand, a screwball opinion.


They're not the same thing but sometimes they do still peddle conspiracy theories that turn out to be false. Many are susceptible to delivering fake news as if it was real due to a conflict of interest related to their funding model.

It is useful to make a distinction between news organizations and non-news organizations but it is not useful to apply any sort of value judgement of either based on that fact alone.


Again, you're trying to conflate getting things wrong or inadequately accounting for bias or expectations with 'peddling conspiracy theories' or 'delivering fake news'. These things are not the same and that's one of the key distinctions between real news organizations and ones that aren't.


Consider the search phrase "Is the Earth flat?"

If Google detects more engagement towards "Yes" and flatearther conspiracy websites, should their search engine prioritize results that say the Earth is flat?

> If Zero Hedge is being cited more frequently, being chosen from search results more frequently, etc. then people have found it more helpful, and presumably other people would find the same.

> The whole premise of democracy (both the form of literal governance and the general philosophy) is that most of the people are correct most of the time.

1. Google's clickthrough metrics are subject to severe sampling bias.

2. The premise of democracy is seeking compromise across diverse opinions. American democracy has explicit protections against tyranny of the masses.

If NYT is regarded as an authority by a diverse audience across broad search domains and cited by other similarly broadly authoritative sites, while ZH is cited and viewed by a high-engagement but narrow and isolated audience, then NYT should be ranked above ZH. As it is.


> If Google detects more engagement towards "Yes" and flatearther conspiracy websites, should their search engine prioritize results that say the Earth is flat?

Yes.

Realize however that this is entirely hypothetical, as there is enormously more round earth information with extremely popular sites like wikipedia.org, nav.gov, etc.

My faith in democracy is strong that I believe this will always be the case, so long as the earth remains round.


You're setting up a straw man. Google's 'favorite' site was CNN, ending up as 11% of all impressions, nearly twice as high as any other single site. Quantitatively CNN has seen their viewership plunging to the point that they now have well under a million primetime viewers. [1] Their results on Alexa [2] show a similar online trend, and that is very much in spite of the fact that Google is constantly 'recommending' them which provides is providing a major inorganic boost to their traffic.

[1] - https://www.forbes.com/sites/markjoyella/2018/05/30/fox-news...

[2] - https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/cnn.com


It's almost as if there is a discrepancy between an audience that uses television as their primary news source as opposed to searching for it via Google. As if they might not be the same people


And you are also straw manning.

> "Their results on Alexa [2] show a similar online trend, and that is very much in spite of the fact that Google is constantly 'recommending' them which is providing a major inorganic boost to their traffic."


And it's not remotely attempting to use legislation to surface all sites.

It's a push for a narrow set of extreme sites who are extremely unpopular because they are conspicuously fact free misdirection toward scapegoating. They naturally fall behind reality based sites.

Nor is it unusual for that group to try to use the force of law to elevate, legitimize and eventually mandate particular propaganda. The only variation is which countries go down this route and which don't.


You are claiming “reasonable people”, which is a legal term, and googles algorithm, which is a computing term, are the marketplace. Neither of these are the market.

The whole idea of googles algorithmic approach is wrong and it’s real purpose is to let google manipulate what people see, rather than letting them choose for themselves.

People should be able to dictate to google how to find information, but instead, google wants to dictate to them how to find information. As has been mentioned already in this thread, and can also be seen on YouTube, google actively overrides users own specified preferences.

A clear example on YouTube is the “trending” section. It is basically googles “we want to present a Disney like site, with a focus on mainstream media”. This goes against the actual marketplace. Actual videos that are trending but not advertiser friendly or whatever else, will not be shown in this section.

Google wants everyone to see “authoritative” sites, because it is a propaganda model. The ministries of truth, even though they are clearly not even valid news sites. Most of what cnn puts out is politically-motivated propaganda. I still remember “the stock market will crash if trump is elected”. Hah..


> Most reasonable people -> Most ideologically progressive people

Not that there is anything wrong with being ideologically progressive, but both sides of the political spectrum view themselves as reasonable because they are starting from different set of axioms.


WSJ is not progressive.


WSJ historically has not been, but these days it's a bit of a mixed bag.


Kos is not right-wing.


It is if you go far enough to the left


What about the fact that if you search: "The donald reddit" then reddit.com/r/the_donald is not in the first page (or 10) of results?

edit: I do see it first if I search "donald reddit"


You have to remember your search results are personalized for you.


Top result for me.


Interesting, for me the top result is r/TheDonald. The trump supporting one (r/the_donald) doesn’t show up at all.


This is totally fake.

Google has to MANIPULATE it's search results to put NPR first.

The smaller sites are linked to more often but Google doesn't want you to see them for political reasons.

The smaller sites don't want regulation - they want and end to manipulation and censorship.

And most reasonable conservative people see NPR,BBC at least as garbage extremist left wing outlet, and would not want to see them at all.


> The smaller sites are linked to more often but Google doesn't want you to see them for political reasons.

Google has never claimed to order search results by the number of links to them. Otherwise the Flash installer (or whatnot) would be at the top of every search results page. :)


Err...that's the exact basis of the original google search algorithm, and what made it so good. You should read up on it, you might learn something.


Reasonable conservative people see NPR and BBC as extremist left wing?


I am told I am annonyingly centrist. While not 'extremist' in the casual sense, I very much see a hard bias to the left that often seem unfettered by the facts by NPR. BBC seems to have its own agenda, however not quite 'left' by american standards. Read any recent Brexit coverage to see the worrying doublespeak that seems to be de rigour today nevertheless. Before you ask, I honestly am unaware of any news org without bias, although many have enough writers and/or a soft hand to obscure systemic detection by casual readers. Everyone who works hard to publish something, by proxy seems to have an agenda beyond factual reporting. If they well-meaning or not seems almost a bygone conclusion. Information has never been more weaponized.


Yeah, Infowars may have the best coverage of a story, but that doesn’t do Google any good if it’s abrasive to profitable users’ expectations. By pushing good content down they can keep the users happy who 1) click ads, 2) shop more online, 3) subscribe / engage on platforms. The algorithms aren’t designed to find the best content, but that which aligns with Google’s goals (eg profit).


> The algorithms aren’t designed to find the best content, but that which aligns with Google’s goals (eg profit).

And it so turns out that finding and surfacing the best content aligns well with the number of people who link to that content, which creates a great product for Google, which aligns with Google making a profit.

You can't argue from a hypothetical where Infowars offers the best content, as Infowars doesn't offer the best content. If Infowars started offering better content than BBC, people would start linking to Infowars, and Infowars would rise in the search results. It's not Google's fault that a lot of Infowars content is low quality that people don't link to.


> And it so turns out that finding and surfacing the best content aligns well with the number of people who link to that content, which creates a great product for Google, which aligns with Google making a profit.

The lines between Google "watching the market" and Google "commanding the market" are very blurry. If you don't get featured, nobody knows that you exist, nobody links to you, you don't get featured. Otoh: if you get featured, everybody sees you, people link to you, you get featured.


This is a hugely important point. Google’s algorithm was genius at the size they were 10 years ago.

Today Google is the tail that wags the dog and a purely popularity based algorithm is more concerning.

However it’s also unquestionably true that Google results are not purely a popularity contest, and then the question becomes whose hand is on the tiller and which way is it steering?

Clearly in this case it is steering towards mainstream media outlets which all slant a particular way. This does not have a small impact.


>> And it so turns out that finding and surfacing the best content aligns well with the number of people who link to that content,

It's like saying Burger King offers "the best" food, because it's popular.

And there's not really a reason(besides a little bit of money) for Google, The global monopoly, to insist on doing that. It's not that hard to have an easy option for quality content.

For example: Google's forum search, which was cancelled.


This argument might fly better if people were posting actually good but small news sources as examples. Lets not pretend that Breitbart or Infowars have any sort of integrity here.


For news stories that are posted on high quality forums(like hn or /r/science), offering a forum link seems like good value.


> It's like saying Burger King offers "the best" food, because it's popular.

Not really; no-one goes to Burger King because they think they are getting the "best" food. They think they are getting convenient, affordable and quick food. You certainly could argue that Burger King is enormously popular because it is very good at offering those three attributes.


Depend on how you define "best". For me it's value, and Burger king is up there.


I'm reminded of what Rory Sutherland once said about McDonalds: the one guarantee that you get with McDs is that it isn't going to make you ill.


The one thing I can guarantee you is that McD's makes me ill. Every bloody time I ate there, mostly on the road in the US where there is nothing else for a long way around. Only the fries are safe.


Well, at least everyone agrees that it is _consistent_.


Not always :( the maccas on the freeway stop near me has horrible chicken nuggets, while the one in the local shopping centre has good ones.


who has not had the bubble guts a time or two from Mickey D's?


The analogy doesn't work because all the content on google is free to users. I would argue that in a world where 5-star restaurants cost the same as Burger King, they would experience more demand than Burger King.


Putting aside who offers the best content entirely, that simply doesn't logically follow.

You can observe that an objective unbiased media source in any realm with a biased and obfuscated view of reality would do less well relative to one that catered to that biased and obfuscated view of reality, which is why media sources even in the modern age are localised and tailored to the audiences which they are aimed at, prejudices, unfounded beliefs and all like MEMRI in the middle east, christian fundamentalist media like WND, etc. If you expand the scope of enquiry to all of possible human history you can very easily imagine that the media sources which would and have historically done best in the more ignorant periods thereof are obscenely biased and not at all "the best content".

If you think that BBC / NY times / WaPo ad et al are not guilty of the exact same kind of thing merely from a different perspective, well that's quaint and charming, but simply completely inaccurate. Nobody has the full story, everybody is wrong, and putting together the puzzle pieces on any issue requires extensive survey of a broad variety of perspectives and sources, and even then, you're going to fall victim to your own biases and simply become another part of the tapestry to boot.

There is no winning. There's just losing less badly.


This is basically backwards

Infowars never has the best coverage

Because it's a at best a crazy conspiracy site, and at worst a far right conspiracy site.

This is actually a massive problem with YouTube in which Google optimizes for time spent watching and ad time which drives a lot of people to far right and conspiratorial content. And a lot of people are complain I that Google needs to fix thay


Comparing views held in 1994 with views held in 2017, it is clear that nothing is driving a lot of people to the far right. Quite the opposite is happening. A sort of relativity may be in play here, making it seem as if other people are moving to the right if the observer is moving to the left.

Histograms of the change, for each party and year: https://imgur.com/QJd2gRB


> Infowars may have the best coverage of a story

Has there ever been an example of this?




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