This is something I think that my deviantArt watchers should be aware of, especially conservatives and Christians.
My parents were asking me to explain and defend the faith in one aspect that I hadn't spent too much time thinking about: by asking if belief in reincarnation is acceptable for a Christian, and if it contradicts the Bible or not. So, decided to Google for Bible verses that might explain one way or the other and opinions from Christian writers (although the direct Bible passages, especially those that are shown within a proper context, are to be held in much higher regard than any person's opinion), and finally concluded that the doctrine of reincarnation violated the Biblical principle that men live once, die and then are judged, which is according to Hebrews 9:27. The disturbing part, however, is that after I typed "reincarnation and christianity" into the search box and hit the Enter key on my keyboard, I discovered that, sometime within the past few days, something has changed within Google. This doesn't happen for all of the searches I make (and I know because I Googled a lot of random stuff today), or even most of them, but for this one, a little snippet from an article came up right at the top of the page, forcing me to look at it first, which put forth the idea that Jesus himself taught reincarnation, and Google asked, "Is this helpful?" Just to see what would happen (and because my own study of the Bible seemed to contradict this result), I clicked the "no" option and was suddenly confronted with a list of reasons as to why the result might be objectionable, with a short, easy form that allowed me to report it to Google. I'm not sure if pages that receive multiple reports are censored completely or just demoted so that they're so far down the page that nobody bothers to read them, but obviously, this new feature has the aim of controlling what people see when they Google, and what gets censored is decided by the opinion of the (perpetually offended) majority, not necessarily by what is true.
I'm trying to post a picture of this form here to make my point, so let's see if that works:
In case you can't see it (either due to computer/tablet/smartphone problems on your end or technological incompetence on mine), let me tell you that one of the options on the list is "This is hateful, racist or offensive" which is typically what someone on the Left in politics says when they want to censor opinions (and facts) that disagree with their own PC worldview. So, theoretically, this new feature could be used to silence conservatives, or at least prevent their content from being found. While the "This is vulgar or sexually explicit", "This is harmful, dangerous or violent" and "This is misleading or inaccurate" options could potentially be used for good, like not forcing people to read things that promote terrorism or immorality, or by weeding out lies, it seems like there is WAY too much potential for abuse, and Google searchers will use it to take away the platform of anyone who expresses an opinion contrary to their own. I can just picture Social Justice Warriors feeling that it's their duty to Google things they find offensive (which is almost everything), just so they can do mass reports and squelch these things.
After finding this, I went to Google News, and searched "google", where I found plenty of news articles that claim that the feature was invented precisely for this purpose, saying that it was a direct response to the election of Donald Trump, and that it aimed to combat "fake news", "offensive search suggestions", "hate speech" and "autocomplete suggestions which promote the idea that climate change is a hoax". It tries to hide anything it deems "low-quality content" and promotes sources it thinks are "authoritative" (how about saying "authoritarian" instead?) instead of putting it all out there and letting people think and decide for themselves which sources to take seriously and which they shouldn't believe.
So, is this a beginning of more widespread and dangerous censorship that is soon to come or just a fluke that will flop?
Anyway, it seems like a very bad idea.