Child rights, Google, Human rights, Computer search Net Neutrality


Technology both helps and hinders what we know about human rights. Use of Google is of central importance to both the Sociology of Knowledge and the creation of internet literacy. In this study, different search engines are compared regarding content of “child rights” in the fifty United States. Findings include: importance of algorithmic loading of sites; number of hits may not reflect the importance or accuracy of a topic; different search engines produce different findings; and personalized searches result in different results. Personalization of searches in accordance to one’s previous search history may result in people being given information that reinforces their views, not challenge them. This means that people opposed to child rights may not be afforded the same information as people who have a search history supporting them. Because searches do not necessarily yield the same information about human rights, scholars and the public must be attentive to adequately assess the accurate or skewed nature of a keyword search.