Democratisation of Digital Search by Decentralisation
Winter, Judith (2011) Democratisation of Digital Search by Decentralisation. pp. 1-2. In: Proceedings of the ACM WebSci'11, June 14-17 2011, Koblenz, Germany.
Today’s knowledge society is based on using individual and especially collective information. As the amount of digital knowledge available on the web is still growing exponentially, it is essential to access and process huge collections of complex data . In order to provide relevant information to the user, modern web search engines successfully apply information retrieval techniques . The usefulness and necessity of web search engines is essentially beyond dispute, more than 90% of all users applied them regularly in 2010. However, with their spreading use, web search engines have met with growing skepticism and criticism not regarding technical, but social issues . In particular the market leader Google hits the headlines regularly. Not only data protectionists and privacy advocates criticize the big amount of user information collected and exploited by Google, but also politicians like the German minister of consumer protection see a need for action. Furthermore, the possibility to censor information is a controversial topic. Whereas Google recently shut down their activities in China due to excessively strict censorship regulations, other companies such as Bing or Yahoo have decided to continue subordinating themselves under these policies .
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