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Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:28 pm
by thjj
I always thought wiki did a pretty good job of monitoring its content. I.e. at the start of some pages, it gives a warning of, say, "this sounds more like a brochure," "needs more citations," etc. But now I understand that there are dark money groups out there which can fund "research papers" to conclude whatever they want it to. Also, I wasn't aware the editing process in wiki was kind of fool-proof; I had thought that pretty much anyone can go in and edit/correct it, so that's good to know as well. Irregardless, in terms of bio's, wiki is my favorite site bc I like their format & it provides the info I'm looking for TBH.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:44 pm
by Spittinchips
I find Start Page a bit more user friendly than DuckDG - https://www.startpage.com/

For those looking to improve online privacy, this is a good starting point for ideas - https://www.privacytools.io/

Removing google completely from mobile/cell phones is not always straight forward, but can be done.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:08 pm
by Julie G
Hmm, add Facebook to the list of those being controlled by Big Pharma. :oops: While this isn't affecting us yet, (our facebook page is still #1 for an "ApoE4" search) I was recently made aware that many other alternative health focused groups have been affected. For instance, I joined a Facebook group for low dose naltrexone (which has a decent amount of science to support it/ see here,) which has virtually disappeared from a Facebook search. In fact, all "naltrexone" groups are gone. My guess is that many other groups were also made "invisible" with this new policy. It's very sad when mainstream medicine is unable to treat a health condition, but to feel the need to interfere with citizens trying to helping themselves is shameful.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:00 am
by Spittinchips
The Ministries of Truth must save us from ourselves and the potential for thoughtcrime.

I just read Marc's post on page 1, so to expand on my previous comment for those pursuing a reduction in google use, while online anonymity is pretty much impossible, a vpn is a good start, and whatever browser you use, consider installing some add-ons - https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#addons

The add-ons will sometimes prevent images and videos from appearing on certain sites, but you can disable them for individual sites.

If you use firefox, adjust the settings - https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#about_config

Rooting your phone to remove google is not something you'd do unless you were confident of success (or had an old phone to experiment with), but the xda developers forums are the place to research.

I can feel a rant coming on, so I'll leave it there. I enjoy the feeling of being google and social media free, but I understand it doesn't suit everyone.

I'm no tech expert, but let me know if you have any questions.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:34 pm
by thjj
From the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Spring 2019 Report (as an example of the randomness of search algorithms):
...
The SPLC found Google's search algorithm was easily manipulated by savvy white supremacists. One example: The first page of search results for Martin Luther King Jr. was filled with links to hate websites featuring racist falsehoods....

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:38 pm
by circular
thjj wrote:From the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Spring 2019 Report (as an example of the randomness of search algorithms):
...
The SPLC found Google's search algorithm was easily manipulated by savvy white supremacists. One example: The first page of search results for Martin Luther King Jr. was filled with links to hate websites featuring racist falsehoods....

I think this is always how search algorithms have worked, and probably not just at Google? Website programmers perform 'search engine optimization' (SEO) reviews of their websites and follow protocols for enhancing SEO, these are usually Google specific protocols since it's the most commonly used browser. Some websites do a better job of this than others and will have higher rankings. One thing they do is search keyword frequency to see how users most often search a concept and then use that language throughout their web pages. All a white supremacist needs to do is create web pages highly optimized for 'martin luther king' and then fill them with a bunch of racist content and be sure there are a lot of links to it from other websites of like mind. The side of light, truth and goodness needs to do likewise. I don't think this is Google interfering but rather manipulation of long standing SEO practices that anyone can do.

People are paid good money to specialize in SEO such that many web developers outsource this to those most in the know and keeping up with changes.

I'm not an expert in this, so I could be mistaken. I'm especially less clear if there are ways to optimize search results at other search sites. Anyone know? How would Google results display if there were no way at all to optimize them, proactively or passively? Would apoe4.info be anywhere near the top?

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:41 pm
by circular
TheBrain wrote:I haven't trusted Google for a long time.

I use DuckDuckGo as my default search engine on my iMac.

I've just added this to Safari, which gave me a choice of whether or not to release *all* web page content to DDG, including usernames and passwords. I didn't allow this. Then I tried to install in Firefox, and unless I don't get something, I don't get the same option, so won't be using it there. Would like to use the same search engine in all the browsers I use.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:47 pm
by circular
I was using PureVPN for the last four years or so, but they were horrible. Beware! When I first started using VPN there weren't many options, and they all looked a bit shady. I figured they were run by dark forces using VPN to hide their own nefarious activity. It sure felt that way. Customer service was horrible. It never worked well, and it wasn't long before I just didn't connect with it and the app lay dormant on my computer and phone. When I recently tried to cancel and delete my account it required giving my email address to an unknown person over chat, which I didn't do. I guess some day I should try another way to do it.

Recently I got on a major security kick and canned PureVPN for IPVanish. It is much better. Also, CNET reports:
A big win for IPVanish is the fact that the company keeps zero logs. Zero. We also like the company's stance towards privacy. They even provide support to EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit at the front lines of protecting online privacy.

So far I love it. So stable and doesn't slow activity at all. I have it set to on demand so it automatically stays connected whenever my phone or computer are active.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:06 pm
by circular
Here's a cheat sheet on what to avoid in VPNs.

Re: Google as Big Brother?

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:06 pm
by thjj
circular wrote:I think this is always how search algorithms have worked, and probably not just at Google? Website programmers perform 'search engine optimization' (SEO) reviews of their websites and follow protocols for enhancing SEO, these are usually Google specific protocols since it's the most commonly used browser. Some websites do a better job of this than others and will have higher rankings. One thing they do is search keyword frequency to see how users most often search a concept and then use that language throughout their web pages. All a white supremacist needs to do is create web pages highly optimized for 'martin luther king' and then fill them with a bunch of racist content and be sure there are a lot of links to it from other websites of like mind. The side of light, truth and goodness needs to do likewise. I don't think this is Google interfering but rather manipulation of long standing SEO practices that anyone can do.

People are paid good money to specialize in SEO such that many web developers outsource this to those most in the know and keeping up with changes.

I'm not an expert in this, so I could be mistaken. I'm especially less clear if there are ways to optimize search results at other search sites. Anyone know? How would Google results display if there were no way at all to optimize them, proactively or passively? Would apoe4.info be anywhere near the top?
Thanks circular! Good insight! With that in mind, would apoe4.info like to hire me as an SEO engineer? :lol: