Warning: This Site Contains Conspiracy Theories

I am sure this question posed by Evgeny Morozov on Slate, “Does Google have a responsibility to help stop the spread of 9/11 denialism, anti-vaccine activism, and other fringe beliefs?” will be quite provocative for readers of Disinformation. As Evgeny Morozov writes on Slate:

In its early days, the Web was often imagined as a global clearinghouse — a new type of library, with the sum total of human knowledge always at our fingertips. That much has happened — but with a twist: In addition to borrowing existing items from its vast collections, we, the patrons, could also deposit our own books, pamphlets and other scribbles — with no or little quality control.

Such democratization of information-gathering — when accompanied by smart institutional and technological arrangements — has been tremendously useful, giving us Wikipedia and Twitter. But it has also spawned thousands of sites that undermine scientific consensus, overturn well-established facts, and promote conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, the move toward social search may further insulate regular visitors to such sites; discovering even more links found by their equally paranoid friends will hardly enlighten them. Is it time for some kind of a quality control system?

Read More: Slate

24 Comments on "Warning: This Site Contains Conspiracy Theories"

  1. Right, quality control like mass media has. Holy Ish can we please stop with the censorship of the internet? 

  2. Wayne Nix | Jan 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Oh how the elite lament the demise of the gatekeeper. What will they do when the general public stops believing their lies?

  3. Aram Jahn | Jan 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

    In general, I respect Morozov’s mind and ideas and writing, but here he’s yet Another One who lazily uses the term “conspiracy theories” as a cipher for any ideas he finds suspect. The semantics of “conspiracy theory”: someone needs to do a public service by creating some sort of taxonomy of conspiracy ideas, always with the knowledge that actual conspiracies do exist, etc. I guess Robert Anton Wilson’s work went over the heads of almost everyone (except Disinfo readers?).

    • really do need a new word for; political, economic, religious, journalistic, pharmaceutical, etc. corruption.  The word theory is so misunderstood to begin with, that it dosen’t even make since in structure.

    • maybe

  4. Anarchy Pony | Jan 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    Who gets to set the standards? Who decides what is legit and what isn’t? The people who may have a vested interest in a particular viewpoint or outcome, regardless of its actual truth?

  5. I like reading comments because I don’t need to read the article… Yes, doing that is a conspiracy.

  6. Are we talking conspiracy theories like: a public education system that, by design, doesn’t teach critical thinking skills?

    • Most valid question on Earth. My opinion is that if you look at government schools fairly anyone would know they are just part of the machine to dumb us all down. 

  7. The only conspiracy I believe in is the one you and I are involved in right now.

  8. Crazy Jane | Jan 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm |

    This is one of the scariest damn things I ever read! 

    Who the fuck thinks like this?? Or is that a conspiracy too? 

  9. DeepCough | Jan 26, 2012 at 12:37 am |

    Of course Google does not have a responsibility for regulating or censoring the spreading of “fringe beliefs” in its search results, because if it did, not only would Google be deemed “COMMUNIST” for disrupting the flow of ideas in the “free marketplace,” but people would also pretty much cease to use it. A dilemma this is, indeed.

  10. I’m grateful for the Web as a medium for circumventing “quality control”.

  11. I much prefer the term Public History myself.

  12. herzmeister | Jan 26, 2012 at 7:07 am |

    even if many conspiracy theories aren’t true, instead of condemning them, today’s leaders should rather wonder
    – what is it about themselves which makes people suspicious,
    – what is it which gives people the impression they have something to hide,
    – and what is it which makes people go looking for alternative views.

  13. JoiquimCouteau | Jan 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Right, because vaccines have made us all so healthy.

    • Damn straight. Escaping mumps, measles, rubella, polio, whooping cough, etc, it’s all bullshit this vaccination crap. The percentage of kids who make it through to adulthood in the West with the help of these vaccinations is only in the high 90s.

  14. JoiquimCouteau | Jan 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Right, because vaccines have made us all so healthy.

  15. SlateIs4Grandma | Jan 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    Slate is completely irrelevant and archaic. They have a “feminist” feature that runs nothing but articles about how any woman who has sex outside of marriage is inherently ‘devalued’, and we should really be working harder to trap men into marrying us, women with big tits need to get them reduced or no one will ever respect them, etc. They’re all too ugly to get laid so they think no one else should either, apparently. So color me unsurprised that they are now advocating censorship of the web (yes, that’s what this article is, none-too-thinly veiled)

  16. Conspiracy theories, you must let the majority of drek http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=drek survive for the few.
    The few that shift from conspiracy theory, to popular urban legends, to independent news reports, to holy fucking shit, mass media can’t deny it any more, criminal prosecutions all over the place, it’s true.

  17. Does this author believe in the Al Qaeda conspiracy?

  18. I find it disconcerting that there are zero comments on this article promoting censorship. Could it be that the article promoting censorship is censored?

  19. Theodisc | Jan 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm |

    Yes we do already have a useful “quality” control system in effect: it’s called censorship and it goes hand-in-hand with following the carrot, not thinking for oneself, towing the party line and being a traditionalist. Traditions do have their place, whilst they still serve a purpose, but when they stymie actual change for the better, then they have outlived their purpose, outside of a history book or collection. Think For Yourselves…

Comments are closed.