The human race has never existed in a more volatile and dangerous era than the one we are currently living. Tolerance is low while hatred and self-interest are skyrocketing. Undeniably we are in dire need of leaders and influencers to come together altruistically to solve not just the visible catastrophic annihilation of human beings and human civilization but also uproot the source(s) of these saddening realities.
If as the video suggests Google is taking this initiative then I applaud their proposal to counteract ISIS’s vigorous recruitment tool; unfortunately, no matter the good intentions behind the project, one must question its consequences.
We must understand that social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google at the core are just that, Social Media. Therefore, no matter their outreach, influence and funds they do not have the authority to judge and impose something of this magnitude. Imagine the psychological, sociological and economic ramifications of Google being able to assess and target people “in the process of converting to Islam”.
This tool of peace rises grave concern also because of its potential implications in the wrong hand or under a different political, financial or sociological interest. The algorithm has the power to block and redirect people to specific political, sociological, religious, financial sites which in layman’s term means it will govern how we think and act in the listed circles of life.
One of my biggest concern is the relationship between the ‘redirect algorithm’ and our right to information. Google, or its tool, is capable of taking away chunks of information that ‘they’ consider wrong or dangerous- in the end controlling our thought process, stifling our minds and taking away our ability to think for ourselves.
It is easy to draw up conspiracies about the uses or the hidden agenda(s) of Google’s Redirect Algorithm, however, for the benefit of the doubt let’s take their word for it. The most evident response to the algorithm is the retaliation against 2.2 billion people i.e. the Islamic population that will undoubtedly follow. The algorithm will constantly be highlighting the most violent, inhumane and heinous atrocities carried out by a small portion of a large community to fragile and confused individuals. This will further distort the image of Islam, as well as further intensify islamophobia. Not to mention put a larger target on the entirety of the Arab culture.
For years, NSA’s Big Brother association has been a source of concern and disapproval for a large portion of the US population, the redirect algorithm promises a future in which Google has the potential to be the ‘online BIG BROTHER’ to the entire cyber world. If that doesn’t petrify you then I don’t know what will.
Whether or not this video or the sources mentioned below are accurate -I do not know- but they unquestionably raise issues regarding the capabilities of these multi-billion enterprises and the risks that may entail. Tech dirt is the only site I came across that claims both Facebook and Google refused the initiative. so taking this video as an example, I urge you to think and fight against the possible ramifications of a technology like the alleged Google Redirect Algorithm from becoming a reality.
For further reads, here are some sites I read through.