You are previewing Google and the Digital Divide.
O'Reilly logo
Google and the Digital Divide

Book Description

Beneficial to scholars and students in the fields of media and communication, politics and technology, this book outlines the significant role of search engines in general and Google in particular in widening the digital divide between individuals, organisations and states. It uses innovative methods and research approaches to assess and illustrate the digital divide by comparing the popular search queries in Google and Yahoo in different countries as well as analysing the various biases in Google News and Google Earth. The different studies developed and presented in this book provide various indications of the increasing customisation and popularisation mechanisms employed by popular search engines, which together with “organising the world’s information” inevitably also intensify information inequalities and reinforce commercial and US-centric priorities and agendas.

  • Develops an extensive historical investigation of information, power and the digital divide
  • Provides new social and political perspectives to understand search engines in general and Google in particular
  • Suggests original methods to study and assess the digital divide as well as the extent of commercialisation and Americanisation worldwide

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. List of figures and tables
  6. About the author
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Preface
  9. Chapter 1: Power, communication and the internet
    1. Communication and power
    2. The emergence of the internet
    3. The various faces of the digital divide
    4. The online knowledge/power nexus
    5. The emergence of the information society
    6. The power of interfaces
    7. ‘Informational politics’ online
    8. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 2: The structure and power of search engines
    1. A short history of information search
    2. The challenge of the deep web
    3. The challenge of the internet infrastructure
    4. Information protection and digital ‘islands’
    5. Interest/internet conflicts
    6. Control over informational commons
    7. The European answer
    8. The long tail of search engines
    9. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 3: Google and the politics of online searching
    1. Google’s big idea
    2. Google’s search engine mechanism
    3. Google’s customised search
    4. Google’s additional services
    5. Google Scholar
    6. Google Translate
    7. Google’s global control by local use
    8. Reinforcing online allegiance
    9. Online manipulation and punishment
    10. Conclusion
  12. Chapter 4: Users and uses of Google’s information
    1. Methodology
    2. Data sources
    3. A cross-national comparison
    4. Main classification system
    5. Reliability of coding: the hidden intention
    6. Economic and political value index
    7. Variety of uses
    8. Specificity of search index
    9. Extent of locality
    10. Initial predictions
    11. Results and analysis
    12. Summary and discussion
  13. Chapter 5: Mass media channels and the world of Google News
    1. Online transformation of media and news
    2. Commercial motives and their implications
    3. Google World News
    4. Dominant online states
    5. International concern
    6. International network
    7. The language dimension
    8. Summary and conclusion
  14. Chapter 6: Google’s global mapping
    1. Google Earth and Google Maps
    2. Biases in scope
    3. The national security dimension
    4. Summary and discussion
  15. Chapter 7: Conclusion
    1. The importance of information and communication
    2. The power of the search engine
    3. ‘Googling’ and the politics of online search
    4. Information uses in Google and Yahoo!
    5. The world of Google News
    6. The bias of Google mapping
    7. The impact of popularisation mechanisms
    8. The future of search engines
    9. From personal advisers to global advertisers
    10. The future of the information society
  16. Chapter 8: Epilogue
  17. Appendix A: Search engines statistics
  18. Appendix B: Data for statistic analysis
  19. Bibliography
  20. Index