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JunkScience.com asks Google to Denounce Web Search Censorship
May 20, 2011 (02:05 PM EDT)
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com sent the following letter to Dr. Larry Page asking Google to officially denounce web search censorship.
Begin forwarded message:
Dear Dr. Page,
An unidentified Google spokesman has indicated that Google may alter its search algorithms so as to, in effect, censor the views of the so-called climate skeptics.
On May 18, 2011, the Yale Forum on Climate Change bemoaned the fact that only 52 percent of the 980 web sites [returned by a Google search on climate change-related terms] "contained clear statements in line with the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science evidence." (See http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2011/05/searching-for-climate-answers-on-googleplenty-of-riches-and-plenty-of-need-for-careful-wording/)
In response to the question, "can search engines do a better job of pointing the public toward credible sites," a Google spokesman, who insisted on anonymity because she is not a Google executive, said the company is always looking for ways to improve results. "Last year, we made 500 changes to the algorithm to improve search quality," she said — thus implying that Google might be willing to censor and bias search results concerning climate science.
But climate science is one of the most hotly contested public policy topics of our time. The notion that Google might slant search results to favor one side is repugnant and will damage Google's brand.
I am requesting that Google publicly repudiate censorship based on point-of-view and commit to policies and practices that do not discriminate between points-of-view.