Sustaining the Public Good Vision of the Internet:
The Politics of Search Engines
Working Paper #9. 1999
Lucas Introna and Helen Nissenbaum
This paper argues that search engines raise not merely technical
issues but also political ones. Search engines systematically
exclude (in some cases by design and in some accidentally) certain
sites in favor of others, or alternatively give prominence to
some at the expense of others. Such biases run counter to the
basic architecture of the Web as well as the values and ideals
that have fuelled widespread support for its growth and development.
The paper considers ways of addressing the politics of search
engines, raising doubts whether, in particular, the market mechanism
can serve as an acceptable corrective.
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