Biased or Not?: The Story of Two Search Engines [article]

Gizem Gezici
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Search engines can be considered as a gate to the world of WEB, and they also decide what we see for a given search query. Since many people are exposed to information through search engines, it is fair to expect that search engines should be neutral; i.e. the returned results must cover all the elements or aspects of the search topic, and they should be impartial where the results are returned based on relevance. However, the search engine results are based on many features and sophisticated
more » ... gorithms where search neutrality is not necessarily the focal point. In this work we performed an empirical study on two popular search engines and analysed the search engine result pages for controversial topics such as abortion, medical marijuana, and gay marriage. Our analysis is based on the sentiment in search results to identify their viewpoint as conservative or liberal. We also propose three sentiment-based metrics to show the existence of bias as well as to compare viewpoints of the two search engines. Extensive experiments performed on controversial topics show that both search engines are biased, moreover they have the same kind of bias towards a given controversial topic.
arXiv:2112.12802v1 fatcat:mffwggsbhjcajlsrznwaycxgxa