Google wants to change the politics game

It’s “shocking,” Google’s CEO continued, “now having spent a fair amount of time inside the system, how the system actually works. And it’s obvious that if the system is organized around incumbencies writing the laws, the incumbencies will benefit from the laws that are written.”

Schmidt obviously liked the word “shocking,” so he used it again. “It’s shocking to me to see how hard it is to take on any incumbency,” he explained.

“But Google is obviously one of the greatest incumbent corporations in America,” Bennett noted.

“Perhaps, but we don’t write the laws,” insisted Schmidt, who sits on the Presidents Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Considering that Google currently “owns” search with somewhere around 70% of the market they certainly could change the game. I am just not sure that it would necessarily be a good change. For instance he goes on to say:

We’re at a point now in technology where we really can change the entire political discourse if we want to. Typical example would be that everybody here has a mobile phone. In fact, you have more than one. The fact of the matter is that in Washington, and I’ve been part of this for years, people write lots of reports about things. But they never test them. But with the mobile phone you could just ask. You could measure everything. And you might be surprised at to what people actually do versus what they say they do—one of the first rules of the Internet. So it seems to me that you could completely change the way that government works and the way the discussion works.

Believe me I am all for getting people involved in the political process but I have to wonder if the push should come from a business whose primary function is to dominate search (information)?

I guess it’s possible that Google could do this and still keep their search results politically neutral. However it would certainly be a tremendous temptation for them to taint their searches with a bias favorable to their business objectives and one that could end up doing more harm to the free market then the non-Google lobbyists are currently doing.

The complete article can be read here.

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