Hi can I get some feedback on this speech ASAP please?
Google Vs. The Government
We’ve all heard the soothingmusic overhead in supermarkets. It’s purpose? Persuasion. It causes us to walkmore slowly and buy more food, whether we need it or not. Highly skilledmarketing professionals working in our fashion and entertainment industriestelling us what to watch, see, wear. All carefully orchestrated to persuade us.
Politicians work with a widerange of consultants who test every aspect of what the politicians do in orderto sway voters: clothing, intonations, facial expressions, makeup, hairstylesand speeches are all optimised.
Fortunately, all of these sources of influence operate competitively.Some of the persuaders want us to buy or believe one thing, others to buy orbelieve something else. It is this competitive nature in our society that keepsus relatively free to choose. Yet Googledecides which web pages to include in search results, and how to rank them,ultimately influencing our decisions.
To understand how this happens, we need to start by looking at thesearch engine itself. The Google search engine is so good and so popular thatthe company’s name is now a commonly used verb in languages around the world.To ‘Google’ something is to look it up on the Google search engine, and that,in fact, is how most computer users worldwide get most of their informationabout just about everything these days. They Google it. Google hasbecome the main gateway to virtually all knowledge, mainly because the searchengine is so good at giving us exactly the information we are looking for,almost instantly and almost always in the first position of the list it showsus after we launch our search – the list of ‘search results’.
That ordered list is so good, in fact, that about 50 per cent of ourclicks go to the top two items, and more than 90 per cent of our clicks go tothe 10 items listed on the first page of results; few people look at otherresults pages, even though they often number in the thousands, which means theyprobably contain lots of good information. So, Google decides which of thebillions of web pages it is going to include in our search results, and how torank them.
Because people are far more likely to read and click on higher-rankeditems, companies now spend billions of dollars every year trying to trickGoogle’s search algorithm – the computer program that does the selecting andranking. Moving up a place can mean the difference between success and failurefor a business, and moving into the top slots can be the key to profits.
So,how does this link to my topic? Other types of influence during an electioncampaign are balanced by competing sources of influence – a wide variety ofnewspapers, radio shows and television networks, for example – but Google, forall intents and purposes, has no competition, and people trust its search resultsimplicitly, assuming that the company’s mysterious search algorithm is entirelyobjective and unbiased. This high level of trust, combined with the lack ofcompetition, puts Google in a unique position to impact elections. Even moredisturbing, the search-ranking business is entirely unregulated, so Googlecould favour anycandidate it likes without violating any laws. Some courts have even ruled thatGoogle’s right to rank-order search results as it pleases is protected as aform of free speech.
Inother words, Google can rig any election they choose, deciding who comes intopower and what they will do. Take the upcoming elections in the USA betweenHilary Clinton and Donald Trump. If you were an undecided voter, you would type the name of one of the candidates into Google and Google provides,in fractions of a second, articles and facts about that candidate. Great! Nowyou are an informed voter, right? But study’s show that the order of those results, theranking of positive or negative stories on the screen, can have an enormousinfluence on the way you vote. And if the election is close enough, the effectcould be profound enough to change the outcome.
Google’s ranking algorithm for search results couldaccidentally steal the presidency. Robert Epstein, a psychologist at theAmerican Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and one of thestudy’s authors said “We estimate, based on win margins in national electionsaround the world that Google could determine the outcome of 25 percent of allnational elections.”
Very well, Google may have the power to influenceelections but does the company everfavour particular candidates? In the 2012 US presidential election, Google andits top executives donated more than $800,000 to President Barack Obama andjust $37,000 to his opponent, Mitt Romney. And in 2015, a team of researchersfrom the University of Maryland and elsewhere showed that Google’s searchresults routinely favored Democratic candidates.
Poweron this scale and with this level of invisibility is unheard of in human history.But recent reports suggest that the Democratic presidential candidate HillaryClinton is making heavy use of social media to try to generate support –Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Facebook, for starters. She has over5.4 million followers on Twitter, and her staff is tweeting several times anhour during waking hours. The Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, has over 5.9million Twitter followers and is tweeting just as frequently.
Sohere is another thought. Is social media as big a threat to democracy as searchrankings appear to be? Not necessarily. When new technologies are usedcompetitively, they present no threat. Even through the platforms are new, theyare generally being used the same way as billboards and television commercialshave been used for decades: you put a billboard on one side of the street; Iput one on the other. I might have the money to make more billboards than you,but the process is still competitive.
In Conclusion, the government may be the people incharge of running countries and making laws and guidelines for our daily lives,but who does that and what policies are supported is majorly influenced by Googleand the results it brings up. Since elections are so close now, they have the abilityto swing the vote one way or another making the power that they hold over citizensthroughout the world incredibly strong and important in today’s society.
HELP!! speech for tomorrow need feedback URGENTLY watch
- Thread Starter
- 12-07-2016 19:05