We caught an interesting article in the Guardian today, “How Google’s search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias,” which calls attention to the fact that when typing in the Google search engine field, the autocomplete feature tends to bring up false information on subjects including climate change.
After testing the climate change example for ourselves and getting the same result, we decided to try some other topics and we were honestly shocked. For those who are only just beginning to educate themselves on topics such as solar panels or wind turbines, they may be more likely to click on misleading information as a result of Google’s algorithm. The fact that these autocomplete examples are in the system also points to the fact that we have a lot more work to do dispelling myths and uncertainties about the viability of renewable energy.
And what about searches for fossil fuel technologies? Surely they will autocomplete with adjectives like “dirty” or “polluting” right?
Natural gas is definitely not renewable.
Coal is definitely not clean or efficient. What is going on here?
The only other power technology to get “bad” as one of the autocomplete options was nuclear, but it also came with the false information that it is “renewable.”