Investigating Google's Search Engine: Ethics, Algorithms, and the Machines Built to Read Us (Paperback)
What do search engines do? And what should they do? These questions seem relatively simple but are actually urgent social and ethical issues. The influence of Google's search engine is enormous. It does not only shape how Internet users find pages on the World Wide Web, but how we think as individuals, how we collectively remember the past, and how we communicate with one another. This book explores the impact of search engines within contemporary digital culture, focusing on the social, cultural, and philosophical influence of Google.Using case studies like Google's role in the rise of fake news, instances of sexist and misogynistic Autocomplete suggestions, and search queries relating to LGBTQ+ values, it offers original evidence to intervene practically in existing debates. It also addresses other understudied aspects of Google's influence, including the profound implications of its revenue generation for wider society. In doing this, this important book helps to evaluate the real cost of search engines on an individual and global scale.
Rosie Graham is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and the Digital at the University of Birmingham, UK and co-director of its Digital Cultures Research Centre.