Showing posts from October, 2018

Algorithms, Fake News, & The Google Generation

At the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL) Annual Meeting, as I presented on the duty of technology competence in the algorithmic society, an astute law librarian asked (paraphrasing), "how does fake news play into this?" That question gave rise to a flurry of brain activity, as I considered how Google, for example, ranks relevancy, the rise of fake news, and the ability of users to spot fake news sources -- particularly for legal research. 
As I was presenting to a group of lawyers at a CLE this week, I polled them asking about the electronic resource that they primarily use for legal research. The overwhelming response was Google.
Google uses a trademarked, proprietary – mostly secret – algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each webpage a relevancy score based on factors, such as: The frequency and location of keywords within the webpage. If the keyword only appears once within the body of the page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.How long the…