Siva Vaidhyanathan is the author of “The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry).” He’s a professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia Law School.
Vaidhyanathan says that in recent years, Google has been taking your location into account, showing you businesses in your area that deal in the type of thing you’re searching on. While that has its conveniences, it is inherently far from larger, more global retrieval of information on that subject.
He says also that we must be aware that Google is a hiding engine as much as it’s a search engine. In the process of bringing us information about what we’re searching on, Google will always favor the results that it thinks WE think will matter. But that’s not the whole Internet. He recommends combing through multiple pages of results instead of stopping on the first one. He also says we should tinker around with changing privacy settings and location settings to get a larger view of what’s out there.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.