Wednesday, August 15, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 Privatization of cyberspace - case Google

Siva Vaidhyanathan was the first speaker in a session from IFLA's Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) group, which is taking place at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. He spoke on Privatization of cyberspace - case Google. He is the author of:
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011) The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). Updated Edition. University of California Press.
This whole FAIFE session is livestreamed and I think it will be available here from tomorrow:
Siva Vaidhyanathan (pictured speaking at the session) started by identifying the ways in which Google search has changed, to have more localisation and personalisation, to smooth out some more offensive sites and to screen out what they term "low quality" news: in other words making editorial decisions. I've blogged presentations from Karen Blakeman, that detail this kind of thing.
Most recently (last week) Google has yielded to pressure, and will give more prominence to "legitimate" sites for films, music and television (so bit torrent sites and fan sites will slide down the rankings). Thus it has moved towards consumerism and he saw further movement in that direction in the future.

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