Late last year, search engine giant Google announced its plans to protect users from the horrors of ‘fake news’ by changing the way it presents search results. According to corporate officials, they hope to shelter readers by limiting access to what the company deems as “low-quality” information – while promoting what it calls ‘established’ mainstream sources. Critics believe that the company, which now has a virtual monopoly on internet traffic, is now playing god over the info-sphere.Actually, from my experience Google is the best of a very bad selection of data search engines. If you know of a better one, please let me know. Someone needs to design a search engine that only includes reliable sources of information. But that takes funding and the rich of the Empire have nearly all of the funds.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up