Help Google Outsmart the Haters

Google is a brilliant, amazing, all-encompassing entity that has built what many would argue is the world’s strongest and most popular search engine. It is a part of our daily lives – Google this, Google that.

However, it is also incredibly easy to manipulate it. It is a machine, not a brain; it is innocent of hatred but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used by those who hate.

Google has created complicated algorithms that learn…yes, learn…based on the information it is fed…and so those who hate search for hateful phrases and Google remembers. If so many are searching, things the program, that phrase must be important and so when others search, Google innocently suggests the very hateful phrases it was fed previously. The thing is…just as they manipulate and spread their evil, we can use it, manipulate it to spread the truth.

A friend posted something to Facebook…I wish I could say I didn’t believe it, but I did. So I put in the very innocuous phrase she posted to checked it out, to confirm it would happen…and it did.

As you probably know, when you start to search for something, Google will, as it always does, offer you suggestions. There’s a really good chance in today’s world, that if you search for “Barack”…you want information on Barack Obama and so as soon as you type Barack … Google will immediately give you several suggestions, based on what others commonly search for.

And, here’s the problem. If you search for something as seemingly simple as “Jews should”… the results are quite depressing.

And so – I’m asking you to take 3 minutes of your life to help Google learn something else…I’ll offer three suggestions – two I thought of, one came from a dear friend named Rahel.

Please search for “Jews should” three times. But ignore Google suggestions and instead, complete the sentence with each of the following phrases listed below.

Let’s take Google from the darkness of hatred to the light of our world. Let’s not surrender to hatred.

Please search for:

Jews should be respected

Jews should rule Jerusalem forever

Jews should be blessed

Then maybe by tomorrow, we’ll have taken back “Jews should” – of course, sadly, there are an infinite number of other phrases that Google’s algorithm has learned that need to be reclaimed…it’s almost an endless battle but it is at times like this that you have to remember that a single candle can defeat a room full of darkness.

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.