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This may be relevant to holocaust revisionism, as I recently noted that French President François Hollande had sent Home Secretary Bernard Cazaneuve to Silicon Valley to pressure Google and other companies into changing their search policy on revisionism. See here:
(Vincent Reynouard has since published a video analysing the speech.)
However, it probably also reflects more general concerns and opportunities. The situation obviously raises the question of who decides what are "correct facts" and how they decide. Several methods seem to be proposed. I'd like to list these with some comments:
1. Facts are "pulled off the internet" into a "Knowledge vault", or "The facts are automatically extracted from each source by information extraction methods commonly used to construct knowledge bases."
A basic problem here arises from the correspondence theory of truth. The internet contains statements, which are often intended to correspond to reality, but sometimes do not (there are also works of fiction, intentional deceptions, mistakes, etc). A procedure that only has access to the statements and not to reality is not in a position to directly establish their truth.
2. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.
This is contradictory. If there were unanimous agreement, there would be no contradictory information.
3. Knowledge Vault has pulled in 1.6 billion facts to date. Of these, 271 million are rated as "confident facts", to which Google's model ascribes a more than 90 per cent chance of being true. It does this by cross-referencing new facts with what it already knows.
It is a common observation that most theories give rise to anomalous data (see Kuhn's work on scientific revolutions, Lakatos on research projects, etc), and these anomalous data are often the source of new knowledge and important revisions to theories. To demote them in search rankings may well be a disservice to the growth of knowledge.
4. Google's Knowledge Graph is currently bigger than the Knowledge Vault, but it only includes manually integrated sources such as the CIA Factbook.
I see a problem here. The CIA is no doubt highly motivated by factual accuracy so that US policy is based on accurate data, but they also have their own agenda and ways of looking at things. It would be better to compare several such encyclopaedic sources, e.g Soviet, Chinese encyclopaedias, outdated information sources to identify subjects that are or historically were contentious. Looking up "CIA Factbook" on google produces this:
Searching the site for "holocaust" produces this as the first result:
This is on aerial photographs of Auschwitz where it says: "Most importantly, for this project, we have the advantage of hindsight and abundant eyewitness accounts and investigative reports on these camps." The investigative reports are the Polish reports from 1946-47. Hence the "facts" rely, perhaps unduly, on "eyewitness accounts" and ideologically biased Polish sources. To be fair, the CIA Factbook does not seem to have much in the way of facts on the holocaust, though they occasionally endorse the general version of the court history.
5. We propose a way to distinguish errors made in the extraction process from factual errors in the web source per se, by using joint inference in a novel multi-layer probabilistic model.
The intrusion of probability theory here is problematic. Theories of probability are only as good as the models on which they are based. They cannot quantify the probability that there is a fault in the model. The implications of this were seen in the 2008 financial crisis, when inadequate models were relied on to predict reality. As noted, there is no way to decide by computer what is a factual error in the web source.
It seems to me that there are issues both of the dissemination of revisionism and of access to facts for research purposes at issue here. In my view, it might be better if Google were to offer its users a choice of search methods and rankings rather than the current system where you just type in a term and hope for the best.
How would they distinguish a orthodox Holocaustian site from a "Holocaust denying" site anyway? That's now if you use a computer algorithm. They may have to use human agents to sort and attach points.
Their final solution for Revisionism is anyway banning sites completely from the searches. To google's credit they've only done that in countries where they're coerced to do so.
But I tried searching "Holocaust" and "Auschwitz with our google right now. And we are not censored in that regard. Still the top ten are all orthodox Holocaustian pages with no hint that there might be something fishy about the common narrative. Maybe changes in algorithm will benefit revisionist sites?
On French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) and Union of former Inmates from Auschwitz initiative
Free the Internet from denial !
Today, whoever looks up information on the Holocaust through the main online sharing platforms inevitably comes upon speeches that attempt to prove that the Holocaust did not happen. When one does a quick search, several videos that are amongst the first results use pseudo-scientific arguments to demonstrate that the extermination of Jews and Roma people in Europe did not occur as it is laid down in the history books.
Prior to today’s denialist culture, the Nazis tried to erase every shred of proof in order to cover up their crime. In many countries, Holocaust denial is illegal, and it is condemned without reservation within the United Nations since 2007.
Whilst the Internet has become the primary source of information for new generations, the spread of Holocaust denial contributes to trivializing racism, anti-Semitism, increases indifference and provokes violent outbursts.
Social networks facilitators have provided their websites with the means to ban the plague of child pornography, and to forbid incitation to hatred.
We the Holocaust survivors, refuse to allow that on the 70th anniversary of our liberation from the camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the tools of modernity be left in the hands of those who want to destroy our world of values.
We the students, the last generation who are able to meet with survivors, refuse to allow the social networks that we use on a daily basis to be brimming with content and videos of Holocaust denial.
We the leaders of organizations committed against racism and anti-Semitism, refuse to abandon the freedoms we fight for to those who misuse them as an alibi for hatred.
We, citizens, refuse for the Internet to grant legitimacy to violence and manipulation.
The historical truth requires every responsible citizen to acknowledge and uphold it. It is high time that all people of good will, from all nations, regardless of whether they are simple users, architects or investors of the Internet, commit to the defence of truth. If it is the case that the Internet is our shared good, it relies on every one of us for truth to triumph over lies.
Raphael Esraïl, President of the Union of former Inmates from Auschwitz
Sacha Reingewirtz, President of the Union of French Jewish Students
Benjamin Orenstein, President of the Association of the former Inmates from Auschwitz from the Rhone
Elie Buzyn, former Auschwitz inmate
Alberto Israel, former Auschwitz inmate
David Schulhof, former Auschwitz inmate
Zesia Laskier, former Auschwitz inmate
Alfred Szalawecz, former Auschwitz inmate
Claude Bloch, former Auschwitz inmate
Sam Rupkowski, former Auschwitz inmate
Jeannette Deplace, former Auschwitz inmate
Julien Godet, former Auschwitz inmate
Yvette Levy, former Auschwitz inmate
Nicolas Roth, former Auschwitz inmate
David Brin, former Auschwitz inmate
And also :
William Martinet, President of UNEF (National Union of Students from France)
Alexandre Leroy, President of FAGE (Federation of the General Student Associations)
Olivier Vial, President of UNI (National Inter-University Union)
Andi Gergely, Chaiperson of the WUJS (World Union of Jewish Students)
Jane Braden-Golay, President of EUJS (European Union of Jewish Students)
Gilles Clavreul, Prefect, Interministerial delegate to fight against racism and anti-Semitism
Dominique Sopo, president de SOS RACISME (SOS Racism)
Benjamin Abtan, president of EGAM (European Grassroot Antiracist Movement
Alain Jakubowicz, president of LICRA International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism
David Harris, director of the American Jewish Committee
Simone Rodan- Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Committee in France
Richard Odier, Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center France
Seta Papazian, president of V.A.N. (Armenian Vigilance against Denial)
Marcel Kabanda, president of Ibuka-France (for the memory of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda)
Alain Daumas, president of l’U.F.A.T. (French Association of Roma organizations)
Benjamin Abtan, president of l’EGAM (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement)
A link to CODOH features on the front page !
Hmmm. Freedom of Speech anyone ?
Je Suis CharLied To ...
Reason: Link fixed.
http://radioislam.org/islam/english/jew ... htm#google
I couldn't think of many terms unique to revisionism that wouldn't be skewed by news stories, but it's not looking good.
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