You probably haven’t even noticed Google’s sketchy quest to control the world’s knowledge

Mark Graham, a geographer at the Oxford Internet Institute, recently did just that: He and his colleague Heather Ford analyzed, in a paper published last month in the academic volume Code and the City, how the city of Jerusalem was represented both on Wikipedia and in Google knowledge panels. They found that while Wikipedia may explain the city’s contested geopolitical status in enormous depth — as of this writing, that portion runs to almost 1,500 words — the nuance was jettisoned completely when the article was deboned and ingested by Google.

“Google, through its data and algorithms, now controls how we interact with many facets of the cities we live in,” Graham warned. “So we should be asking whether we are happy ceding decisions about how we live our everyday lives to them.”

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