Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters

Lucas D. Introna, Helen Nissenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues that search engines raise not merely technical issues but also political ones. Our study of search engines suggests that they systematically exclude (in some cases by design and in some, accidentally) certain sites and certain types of sites in favor of others, systematically giving prominence to some at the expense of others. We argue that such biases, which would lead to a narrowing of the Web's functioning in society, run counter to the basic architecture of the Web as well as to the values and ideals that have fueled widespread support for its growth and development. We consider ways of addressing the politics of search engines, raising doubts whether, in particular, the market mechanism could serve as an acceptable corrective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Society
Volume16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000

Fingerprint

Search engines
World Wide Web
search engine
politics
market mechanism
trend
Search engine
Values

Keywords

  • Bias
  • Digital divide
  • Information access
  • Search engines
  • Values in design
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

Introna, L. D., & Nissenbaum, H. (2000). Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters. Information Society, 16(3), 169-185.

Shaping the Web : Why the politics of search engines matters. / Introna, Lucas D.; Nissenbaum, Helen.

In: Information Society, Vol. 16, No. 3, 07.2000, p. 169-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Introna, LD & Nissenbaum, H 2000, 'Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters' Information Society, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 169-185.
Introna LD, Nissenbaum H. Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters. Information Society. 2000 Jul;16(3):169-185.
Introna, Lucas D. ; Nissenbaum, Helen. / Shaping the Web : Why the politics of search engines matters. In: Information Society. 2000 ; Vol. 16, No. 3. pp. 169-185.
@article{baa3a74fa18849d99a156b5f2be9f2cc,
title = "Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters",
abstract = "This article argues that search engines raise not merely technical issues but also political ones. Our study of search engines suggests that they systematically exclude (in some cases by design and in some, accidentally) certain sites and certain types of sites in favor of others, systematically giving prominence to some at the expense of others. We argue that such biases, which would lead to a narrowing of the Web's functioning in society, run counter to the basic architecture of the Web as well as to the values and ideals that have fueled widespread support for its growth and development. We consider ways of addressing the politics of search engines, raising doubts whether, in particular, the market mechanism could serve as an acceptable corrective.",
keywords = "Bias, Digital divide, Information access, Search engines, Values in design, World Wide Web",
author = "Introna, {Lucas D.} and Helen Nissenbaum",
year = "2000",
month = "7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "169--185",
journal = "Information Society",
issn = "0197-2243",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Shaping the Web

T2 - Why the politics of search engines matters

AU - Introna, Lucas D.

AU - Nissenbaum, Helen

PY - 2000/7

Y1 - 2000/7

N2 - This article argues that search engines raise not merely technical issues but also political ones. Our study of search engines suggests that they systematically exclude (in some cases by design and in some, accidentally) certain sites and certain types of sites in favor of others, systematically giving prominence to some at the expense of others. We argue that such biases, which would lead to a narrowing of the Web's functioning in society, run counter to the basic architecture of the Web as well as to the values and ideals that have fueled widespread support for its growth and development. We consider ways of addressing the politics of search engines, raising doubts whether, in particular, the market mechanism could serve as an acceptable corrective.

AB - This article argues that search engines raise not merely technical issues but also political ones. Our study of search engines suggests that they systematically exclude (in some cases by design and in some, accidentally) certain sites and certain types of sites in favor of others, systematically giving prominence to some at the expense of others. We argue that such biases, which would lead to a narrowing of the Web's functioning in society, run counter to the basic architecture of the Web as well as to the values and ideals that have fueled widespread support for its growth and development. We consider ways of addressing the politics of search engines, raising doubts whether, in particular, the market mechanism could serve as an acceptable corrective.

KW - Bias

KW - Digital divide

KW - Information access

KW - Search engines

KW - Values in design

KW - World Wide Web

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034338025&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034338025&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 16

SP - 169

EP - 185

JO - Information Society

JF - Information Society

SN - 0197-2243

IS - 3

ER -