Friday, 25 July 2008

Censorship and search engines

Visual Comparison of Search Results - A censorship case study
Understanding the qualitative differences between the sets of results from different search engines can be a difficult task. How many links must you follow from each list before you can reach a conclusion? We describe a user interface that allows users to quickly identify the most significant differences in content between two lists of Web pages. We have implemented this interface in CenSEARCHip, a system for comparing the effects of censorship policies on search engines.
This is a wonderful read ... and highly relevant for thinking about "students as researchers".

The search tool CenSEARCHip will be valuable to our teachers and our students.

Thanks to a great post at Confused of Calcutta's Blog

I went to the site where they discuss the implementation of CenSEARCHip, and tried out their example. Here’s what I saw:

Two different views of one search. One from a US perspective, one from a China perspective. Search term? Tiananmen Square.

We live in a complex age. Airbrushes and Photoshopping. Hollywood-inspired DRM and IPR, ostensibly assuming universal human guilt about all kinds of things.

As the Web becomes more and more central to the way we do things, we face greater and greater risk of tacit censorship. It is up to us to ensure that does not happen. Before we lose the ability to ensure it does not happen.

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