Today I took the unprecedented step and changed my Internet Home Page from Google to the Drudge report! So what, I hear some say – but there was an important reason and I want to explain why.
I have been accessing the Internet ever since it became possible to do so and especially once fast access became possible. One attraction of Internet usage is that you can access information on almost every subject covering a plethora of angles. One way to find this out is through use of Search Engines, whereby you can type in a subject you want to study and the engine gives results in order of appropriateness of where you can go to find out information on the subject, even when allowing for some info providers paying to jump the queue. In the early days there were many search engines vying for one’s attention as the one to use but I quickly came to a view that Google was the best. Since then it has come to dominate that market. Because searching for information was a major reason behind my using the Internet, it made sense to make Google my home page, even though there can be other priorities that might lead people to make a different choice for their Home page.
One thing that has come to bother me increasingly is, when trying to get to the bottom of what is going on, I have found myself becoming increasingly distrustful of what the media reports, often because of its inherent liberal bias and dubious selection of material. I try to adopt a strategy of trying to get my information from more than one source and balancing what I find in order to come to a view that tends toward equating with the truth – a challenging and never ending task, but also necessary. In that quest for information, trying to find alternative media reporting sources, I stumbled recently across “The Drudge Report”, which I understand has become very popular, especially among those sharing my concerns. It lacks frills but is full of stuff that I think matters and while I recognize a certain alt right bias, I sense a necessary degree of integrity, for example in that it runs many stories from those with a different outlook, where relevant. According to Wikipedia: “The Drudge Report is a politically conservative American news aggregation website. Run by Matt Drudge with the help of Charles Hurt, the site consists mainly of links to stories from the United States and international mainstream media about politics, entertainment, and current events; it also has links to many columnists. Occasionally, Drudge authors new stories himself, based on tips”.
While Google has many redeeming qualities, I reckon in 90% of my Internet searches Google gets me to where I want to be, I worry over that it is becoming a near monopoly when accessing information. I am also suspicious regarding data privacy. I am concerned that it censors stuff it does not agree with. When I did Google search, and to its credit given what it came up with hardly put Google in a good light, on the term: “evidence of Google censoring”, I was amazed at the number of hits even on the first page, which I consider concerning. This had nothing to do with protecting the vulnerable from harmful and untrue content, but rather more to do with preventing those with views that Google disapproved off from airing them. This is part of a bigger issue we are likely to see more off, which I find worrying: control of the Internet and shutting down those who offer alternative perspectives to those who are in power.
Of course my decision to change my homepage from Google to Drudge is unlikely to make any difference at all, but on the other hand, if others were to follow my example it might. I suspect having links to Drudge reports staring me in my face when I click on my ISP icon will overall be less useful than having the ability right away to initiate an Internet search. Notwithstanding, for the time being at least, Drudge replaces Google for this Internet user!