Friday, April 23, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Beware of Harvard Internet Docs

According to a recent item in Technology Daily [subscription required], two Harvard doctoral fellows and a media professor from the University of Leipzig in Germany claim that diversity of viewpoint on the Internet is a myth. They cited as evidence (1) individuals' poor knowledge of how search engines operate, (2) the online marketing techniques of various commercial and political entities, (3) the lack of transparency of search-engine technologies, (4) and the unregulated nature of the medium.

Ben Edelman, one of the Harvard doctoral candidates sums of their findings this way: "All these concerns reflect classical questions of media policy and media regulation, market concentration, media power, the protection of minors, the separation of advertising from content and media literacy...These are classical questions and classical challenges coming up with search engines in a new light. Of course, we need to find new ways to address them."

It's been a few months since a new FCC office was created, anyway. What about an "Office for the Regulation of Search Engines To Prevent Market Concentration, Media Power, Protection of Minors, and the Separation of Advertising Content and Media Literacy". There's no reason to leave its mission vague.

But before doing so, I'd love to have the docs over to my place to follow my mouse for 15 or 20 minutes while she crawls around the most astonishingly diverse, most easily accesible medium ever created.

posted by Randolph May @ 11:48 AM | General