The Exigent Duality
Google and Confirmation Bias - 13:05 CDT, 7/31/18 (Sniper)
Today at work I learned that the businesses' websites are rapidly being demoted in Google's search results.

The Why and the How

The reason for this, as was explained by an expert marketing consultant firm, is due to Google hiring ten thousand human beings to sit at computers and manually document the "authoritativeness" of hit results-- the output of which is then fed back into the search engine's algorithms, promoting some material while demoting other sources.

I did a bit of investigation on my own, and found the PDF file which is used, by Google, to train these so-called "search quality evaluators". Here is what the file says on page 11, bold emphasis is mine:

"You [the evaluator] must also look for reputation information about the website. We need to find out what outside, independent sources say about the website. When there is disagreement between what the website says about itself and what reputable independent sources say about the website, we'll trust the independent sources."

This kind of language set off alarm bells for me, because it sounds just like the kinds of things which have been going on related to the "demonetization" of independent YouTube video channels, in favor of "factual sources" such as the patently absurd, almost clown-like pureyers of "fake news" such as Anderson Cooper of CNN, whose exploits-- and those of his fellow mainstream media journalists-- have been well-documented over the span of many years.

Remember, Google is a company which aggresively vets, internally ridicules, and even fires conservative employees-- according to their brain trust, what constitutes an "independent" source?

Sure enough, on page 16 of the aforelinked PDF file, the evaluative methodology is indicated: the "evaluators" are to search Google, in order to determine if a site should be deemed legitimate by Google. Anyone with half a brain and the ability to think even five minutes into the future would immediately see the flaw with this approach: won't this lead to a self-reinforcing spiral of confirmation bias? I will illustrate that very notion in action via several examples, which are below.

Perpetual Motion Machine

Let's start with Zero Hedge. Using the exact search query structure which the "evaluators" will use, they will learn that the site is a "conspiratorial, alt-right, pro-Russian" blog compliments of the "independent" Wikipedia; they will discover that it is "batshit insane" according to the deceptively-named "Rational Wiki", which is the Left's version of "Conservapedia"; and that it is a "far-right, fringe blog" according to "media matters", which is funded and was founded by such paragons of politically independent discourse like Pat Stryker and David Brock, who both donated significant sums of money (in the former), and major political support (in the latter) to and for Democrats such as Barack Obama.

So, Left-wing Google promotes Left-wing websites in its algorithm; "evaluator" searches Google to determine the quality of Right-wing websites, gets Left-wing ad hominem-strewn opinions about said site; writes recommendation to demote Right-wing web site due to its "bias" and "unreliability"; then the cycle starts over again at step one.

Let's turn to Breitbart. The same pattern holds true: Wikipedia uses "far-right" eight times, and "fringe" seven times in its take (this will be important later on); other hits come from Left-wing "Rolling Stone", celebrating the death of "douchebag" Andrew Breitbart; this is followed by a hit piece from Left-wing "Mother Jones", and another negative hit piece from Conservapedia "Rational Wiki".

What about Fox News? Surely that one will get a more objective take from Google's search results, since it is a large, mainstream news organization, which objectively has more neutral news than any of its competitors (52% negative and 48% positive regarding Donald Trump coverage, versus like 95/5 splits for sites like CNN and MSNBC). What's this? Negative hit pieces from Left-wing "The Young Turks", the Left-wing "Huffington Post", and the Left-wing "The Daily Beast".

How about liberal sites? Maybe the Left-wing web sites bring back hits from Breitbart, Zero Hedge, and Conservapedia, causing an equal demotion between Right-wing and Left-wing sources on Google?

Let's start with "Think Progress", which is basically the Left's equivalent of Zero Hedge. Oh oh: the only hits come from their own website, and from a single third-party source, the George Soros-funded, John Podesta-led "Center for American Progress", which predictably describes them as "hard-hitting... political news and analysis". So far, not so good.

How about "Mother Jones", which is the Left's "Breitbart"? Um, this one fares even worse: the hits are from Left-wing "Huffington Post", the Left-wing "AFL-CIO" labor union, and the "Mother Jones Museum", which praises the historical figure.

Remember when I pointed out above how Right-wing web sites are described as "fringe" and "far-right"? Even a ten second cursory glance at the editorials-as-news "Mother Jones" home page headlines indicates that the formerly Michael Moore-edited publication is about as "far-left" as humanly possible-- yet its Wikipedia page has not even a single instance of the terms "fringe", "far-left", or even simply "left", and lists all of the great awards it's won from fellow Leftists!

What's Next?

Google's search results will continue to become more and more Left-radical via a recursive, infinite, confirmation bias cycle:

  1. Left-wing Google promotes Left-wing websites in its algorithm, while demoting Right-wing sources
  2. "Evaluator", who is probably Left-wing themselves due to Google's culture and employment practices, searches Google to determine the "quality" of Right-wing websites
  3. "Evaluator" gets Left-wing, ad hominem-strewn opinions about said Right-wing sites
  4. "Evaluator" writes recommendations to demote Right-wing web sites due to their "bias" and "unreliability", causing overall Google results to become even more Left-biased
  5. Cycle restarts at first step

The end product of this is that Google will increasingly cease to be a useful search engine for anyone with even moderately "right-of-center" worldviews. This could wind up being the catalyst for an upstart competitor to take them down, like what happened to IBM (at the hands of Microsoft), and Microsoft (at the hands of Google).

The ironic part of this relates to the thing with which I opened this post: large corporations-- who are generally urban, increasingly feminine in orientation, and who thus have critical masses of Left-wing employees-- are suffering under this model, because large companies routinely get slagged off by Leftist publications, which almost all have Marxist sympathies. Is this not a classic case of being hoisted on one's own petard?