By Lulu Eastman, V Form
Fake News & Google: A Vessel in the Sea of Verity and Deceit
In our Digital Age, Google has become a vital tool to the global population, with over a billion people worldwide relying on the search engine as their guide to the human library known as the internet. Google not only nurtures the insatiable curiosity and hunger for knowledge innate to mankind, but also easily provides the masses with unreliable and false information, resulting in an age where anyone can easily be deceived online.
Google.com is the most widely used search engine worldwide, accounting for 72.48% of the world’s market share of search. On average, the website processes over 40,000 search queries every second, and 3.5 billion searches per day worldwide (Google). Google has become an indispensable tool for many cultures globally. In our Digital Age, when one has a question, what do they do? They look it up. With access to the internet, one gains access to lifespans of intelligence, conveniently uploaded onto a global database. Through the websites easily discovered with Google, an individual has the potential to expand their knowledge on a seemingly limitless expanse of subjects. This aspect of the search engine allows humans to further our knowledge on an individual and common level, allowing us to become more mentally diverse and well-rounded.
However, the beneficial qualities of Google do not exist without detrimental counterparts. Each day, people seek answers to an endless variety of inquiries, turning to the ever-present internet to ease their confusions and provide them with the instant satisfaction of “knowing”. Both consciously and unconsciously, our opinions, emotions, interests, and goals are manipulated by the links that surface when we type in a query or phrase and press the ‘enter’ key. The daunting aspect of this endless ocean, while affluent in the assurance of facts and veritable truths, is that it is full of lies. Every link that arises at the command of a search has a reasonable chance of being glutted with unapologetic deceit and bias. And every day, an immense and completely unknowable number of individuals feed upon such fabrications, molding the basis of what they believe, of their thoughts and opinions regarding our world.
So, is it possible to eradicate the negative aspects intertwined with the boons of Google? If the internet were to continue to exist as a common to which anyone may contribute, then almost certainly not. However, individuals can learn to guard themselves from being unknowingly manipulated by biases and fabrications by educating themselves in methods of verifying source reliability. In this way, Google may continue to exist as the layman’s guide to accessing all the internet has to offer, while minimizing the effects of duplicitous sources.
Lulu Eastman is V Form boarding student from Winchester, MA. She loves art: particularly painting and pencil drawings.
“Google Search Statistics.” Internet Live Stats. World Wide Web Foundation, 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.