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Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
Framing Search Engine Responsibilities
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Framing Search Engine Responsibilities

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  • 1. Emily LaidlawEmily Laidlaw PhD CandidatePhD Candidate London School of EconomicsLondon School of Economics
  • 2. Week ending 10/09/2010 Most Visited Sites UKWeek ending 10/09/2010 Most Visited Sites UK (Hitwise):(Hitwise):  Google UKGoogle UK  FacebookFacebook  eBayeBay  Windows Live MailWindows Live Mail  YouTubeYouTube  BBC HomepageBBC Homepage  MSN UKMSN UK  BBC NewsBBC News  WikipediaWikipedia  Yahoo!UK & IrelandYahoo!UK & Ireland
  • 3. UK Stats (Hitwise Oct 2010)UK Stats (Hitwise Oct 2010) (volume)(volume) US Stats (Nielson JanuaryUS Stats (Nielson January 2010)2010)  Google UK 88.19%Google UK 88.19% (78.73% based on(78.73% based on visits)visits)  Google.com 3.53%Google.com 3.53% (6.98%)(6.98%)  Bing 3.05% (3.53%)Bing 3.05% (3.53%)  Yahoo! UK 2.65%Yahoo! UK 2.65%  ASK UK 1.34%ASK UK 1.34%  Google 67.3%Google 67.3%  Yahoo! 14.4%Yahoo! 14.4%  MSN/WindowsMSN/Windows Live/Bing 9.9%Live/Bing 9.9%  AOL 2.5%AOL 2.5%  Ask 1.7%Ask 1.7%
  • 4.  How does Google determine rankings?How does Google determine rankings?  How are people/businesses impacted byHow are people/businesses impacted by rankings?rankings?  What should its’ legal responsibilities be forWhat should its’ legal responsibilities be for their rankings?their rankings?  Public interest?Public interest?  Human Rights?Human Rights?
  • 5. ““The reason that we think of the Internet not as aThe reason that we think of the Internet not as a chaotic wasteland, but as a vibrant, accessiblechaotic wasteland, but as a vibrant, accessible place, is that some very smart people haveplace, is that some very smart people have done an exceedingly good job of organizing it.”done an exceedingly good job of organizing it.” James Grimmelmann 2007James Grimmelmann 2007  Control information flowsControl information flows  Shape public opinionShape public opinion  Categorize consumptionCategorize consumption
  • 6.  High rankings when don’t want it; (right toHigh rankings when don’t want it; (right to be forgotten)be forgotten)  Low rankings when want high (businessesLow rankings when want high (businesses going under);going under);  Manipulation of Rankings:Manipulation of Rankings:  Search Engine Optimization;Search Engine Optimization;  Google BombingGoogle Bombing
  • 7.  Don’t fit into any traditional categories:– inDon’t fit into any traditional categories:– in media terms, they aren’t quite newspapersmedia terms, they aren’t quite newspapers or broadcasters.or broadcasters.  Sui Generis?Sui Generis?  Problems with imposing duties:Problems with imposing duties:  Upset market balance;Upset market balance;  Imposed innovation/diversityImposed innovation/diversity  In crafting where to go in regulatory termsIn crafting where to go in regulatory terms the question is how search engines affectthe question is how search engines affect the public interest and human rights.the public interest and human rights.
  • 8. 1.1. Algorithm DesignAlgorithm Design  Entrenchment;Entrenchment;  SEOSEO  Google BombingGoogle Bombing  Filtering mechanisms;Filtering mechanisms;  Third party trademarksThird party trademarks 2.2. ManualManual ManipulationManipulation  Paid PlacementsPaid Placements  Complaints and RemovalComplaints and Removal  Removal at search engine behestRemoval at search engine behest  SearchKing v GoogleSearchKing v Google  Kinderstart v GoogleKinderstart v Google  Roberts v GoogleRoberts v Google
  • 9.  What are search engines’ human rights responsibilities?What are search engines’ human rights responsibilities?  Whose rights? Search Engine rights vs. Users rightsWhose rights? Search Engine rights vs. Users rights  Is article 10 even engaged?Is article 10 even engaged?  Who regulates the rights? Whose responsibility?Who regulates the rights? Whose responsibility?  What is the best regime going forward? Private or state orWhat is the best regime going forward? Private or state or some combination thereof?some combination thereof?
  • 10. Commercial Speech vs User SpeechCommercial Speech vs User Speech  SearchKingSearchKing vv GoogleGoogle  KinderstartKinderstart vv GoogleGoogle  RobertsRoberts vv Google, Yahoo! And MicrosoftGoogle, Yahoo! And Microsoft  LangdonLangdon v Googlev Google Whose Right to Free Expression?Whose Right to Free Expression?
  • 11. Is Article 10 engaged?Is Article 10 engaged? 10(1) Everyone has the right to10(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. Thisfreedom of expression. This right shall include freedom toright shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receivehold opinions and to receive and impart information andand impart information and ideas without interference byideas without interference by public authority andpublic authority and regardless of frontiers. Thisregardless of frontiers. This article shall not preventarticle shall not prevent States from requiring theStates from requiring the licensing of broadcasting,licensing of broadcasting, television or cinematelevision or cinema enterprises.enterprises.  Search engines makeSearch engines make information moreinformation more accessible;accessible;  They are not contentThey are not content providers;providers;  They shape engagementThey shape engagement in democracy andin democracy and participation in the publicparticipation in the public sphere.sphere.
  • 12. Other IssuesOther Issues  Article 6Article 6  Is there an entitlementIs there an entitlement to a fair and publicto a fair and public hearing?hearing?  Are search rankings aAre search rankings a determination of civildetermination of civil rights?rights?  Do complaintsDo complaints concerning searchconcerning search rankings qualify as arankings qualify as a dispute?dispute?  Framework DirectiveFramework Directive article 1(3)a “Internetarticle 1(3)a “Internet Freedom Provision”Freedom Provision”  Does this cover searchDoes this cover search engines?engines?  Is there a right to a fairIs there a right to a fair procedure inprocedure in determinations aboutdeterminations about information access orinformation access or accessibility?accessibility?
  • 13.  To delete information from search results:To delete information from search results: complain to website owner, contact Google recomplain to website owner, contact Google re caching.caching.  To complain about a low ranking:To complain about a low ranking:  To search engine provider (no complaints procedureTo search engine provider (no complaints procedure akin to a hearing);akin to a hearing);  Global Network Initiative? No complaints procedureGlobal Network Initiative? No complaints procedure as of yet.as of yet.  Lawsuit (long and expensive).Lawsuit (long and expensive).  Do nothing.Do nothing. OptionsOptions
  • 14. 1.1. Recognition of the public function of search engines and ourRecognition of the public function of search engines and our dependence on them. Values:dependence on them. Values:  Consistency in decision making;Consistency in decision making;  A degree of transparency;A degree of transparency;  Respect for User Dignity;Respect for User Dignity; 2. Recognize it as a human rights issue.2. Recognize it as a human rights issue.  How to operationalize these values? A Right to be Heard akaHow to operationalize these values? A Right to be Heard aka complaints mechanism.complaints mechanism.  Internal codes fail to set standards;Internal codes fail to set standards;  CSR codes are of more discursive and moral force;CSR codes are of more discursive and moral force;  Mixed-regulatory approach optimal.Mixed-regulatory approach optimal.
  • 15. Emily Laidlaw, PhDEmily Laidlaw, PhD Candidate, London School ofCandidate, London School of EconomicsEconomics e.b.laidlaw@lse.ac.uke.b.laidlaw@lse.ac.uk www.laidlaw.euwww.laidlaw.eu http://twitter.com/EmilyLaidlawhttp://twitter.com/EmilyLaidlaw

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