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indi wrote

A big part of Google's results personalization algorithms is your location. So it's not all that dubious for results to be skewed like that in some particular location. Like Sweden, for example.

Speaking generally though, I don't find it the least bit surprising that searches for things like "holocaust" or "did the holocaust happen" turn up a lot of Nazi shit. They're the ones who are most likely to be talking about it. And it's not just about Nazis and anti-semitism: searches for racial stuff will probably more likely turn up racist sites, feminist issues will probably more likely turn up misogynist sites, and so on. Just think about it: people who aren't misogynists (for example) don't really have all that much motivation to talk about feminism all the time, because for them, it's a totally non-controversial given... but for misogynists, it's a perennial bug up their ass, so they're going to complain about it all the time, and share links back and forth with other misogynists to fortify their hate with like-minded affirmations and supportive conspiracy theories. Likewise, anyone who's not a complete fucknut doesn't feel a need to discuss the Holocaust all that often... but for Nazis and deniers, it's always on their mind.

This has nothing to do with whether or not Google is the great Satan of privacy destroying data collection; it's a completely obvious and even unavoidable outcome of any attempt to automatically rank a site's relevance to a search term. By just about any measure you can imagine other than a "bullshit/not-bullshit" scale - frequency of mention, number of visits, number of inbound links - a hate site is going to rank high on the relevance score for a controversial term. Any AI intelligent enough to decide whether a site is truly legit or not will have to be an AI that makes value judgments... that is, something that literally thinks for you. Is that what anyone really wants?

The real problem here is not Google, it's the misconception that scoring high on a search rank is a measure of the quality of some site's information, and not merely the popularity. It's like going to a library and thinking the most authoritative books on a topic are the ones with the most eye-catching covers. Google's page rank is not a proxy for verisimilitude. And it is certainly not an excuse to turn off your brain and not do any critical analysis of whether a site's data is trustworthy.

Blaming Google, as the article does, is missing the point entirely. What we should be alarmed about is people so clueless about the way information works that they take articles like this one seriously.