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