In the News

July 15, 2021

Wired

No, Facebook and Google Are Not Public Utilities

“If you’re being nondiscriminatory in an absolute sense, so there’s no prioritization, there’s no special insight—it just goes back to how many times the words appear on a web page, like the early search engines—that’s not what Google offers you,” said Scott Jordan, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Irvine and former chief technologist at the Federal Communications Commission. A search engine that didn’t try to bring the best, most relevant results to the top would be basically worthless. “If you mean nondiscriminatory in a much narrower sense, like does Google’s algorithm include whether the webpage has a conservative or a liberal tint, or is based on anything else—gender, race, what have you—then, yeah, Google might say that they’re nondiscriminatory in these narrower senses. But this doesn’t easily map onto the question of common carriage.”

Read the full article at Wired.


No, Facebook and Google Are Not Public Utilities

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