Did the holocaust happen?

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Fascinating results from Google. Carole Cadwalladr posted the same results on Twitter and it leads us to a difficult question. Is it the role of a search engine to provide results that pertain to the question being asked or should it provide a factual answer. In this case, that would of course be ‘yes’.

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1 reply

  1. The age-old problem. Do we censor results that we don’t like? Are there questions that shouldn’t be asked? I can think of lots of politically incorrect questions that I might be curious about without agreeing to their premise.

    As for the above, what if I were researching Holocaust deniers? I could look up “Holocaust deniers” but I might get more direct results by asking the question posted. What I would like to see is both sides and a balanced response. The problem is that every search engine has its own algorithm for deciding what results to show. For example, they might show more frequently visited web sites first. Hopefully we’ll see more balance as algorithms improve. So taking the above as a question, we should see results on the first page that show both sides.

    Out of curiosity, I typed in this question to see what would happen. The first 3 results were the same as above, but the fourth and fifth were “How could someone possibly believe that the holocaust did not happen” and “Why did the holocaust happen”. I might have liked a definitive article on the holocaust as the first hit, but at least I got both sides. Then it’s up to me to find that definitive article.

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