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The Internet Giant : en diskursteoretisk analys av mediedebatten i USA kring Google Search

Karlsson, Ulrika LU and Söderblom, Hanna LU (2011) ABMM43 20111
Division of ALM
Abstract
Search engines have become a starting point to the Internet, and for the large majority, Google Search is the preferred choice. Research shows that users perceive search engines as neutral tools, or neutral platforms of information, when in fact search results per definition are ranked according to many different principles and regulations. Therefore, search engines are important gatekeepers of the Internet, meaning that they function as filters between the user and the information. Google’s mission statement; to make all the world’s information universally accessible, and to do this in accordance with their informal motto ”Don’t be evil”, has led to a large number of disputes both in the U.S and internationally. Thus, the company has been... (More)
Search engines have become a starting point to the Internet, and for the large majority, Google Search is the preferred choice. Research shows that users perceive search engines as neutral tools, or neutral platforms of information, when in fact search results per definition are ranked according to many different principles and regulations. Therefore, search engines are important gatekeepers of the Internet, meaning that they function as filters between the user and the information. Google’s mission statement; to make all the world’s information universally accessible, and to do this in accordance with their informal motto ”Don’t be evil”, has led to a large number of disputes both in the U.S and internationally. Thus, the company has been increasingly present in the media debate. Using a discourse analysis, this study examines articles from three major U.S newspapers on Google’s involvement in conflicts regarding the company’s mission statement. Our focus is to see why these conflicts have arisen, and in particular how Google is portrayed in the articles. Our results show four discourses. These discourses circle around the elements censorship, liability, dominance, and integrity. In two of them, Google’s identity is constructed as heroic, and the company represents American ideals such as freedom. In the other two discourses, Google is instead depicted as a threat. The main reason of conflict is the control of information, where traditional gatekeepers such as governments, authorities and other leading media companies, are opposing Google’s position. Overall, the image of the company is still mainly positive. However, more and more critical voices are raised, and the rights and responsibilities of search engines are being negotiated in legal cases worldwide. There are reasons to believe that in the future the search company will be subject to closer scrutiny. Media both create and reflect this process, and as a result the public awareness of the implications of search engines as gatekeepers on the Internet will be raised. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Karlsson, Ulrika LU and Söderblom, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The Internet Giant : a Discourse Analysis of the U.S. Media Debate on Google Search
course
ABMM43 20111
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
filtrering, informationsfrihet, mediadebatt, sökneutralitet, gatekeeping, diskursanalys, Google, sökmotorer, informationspolitik, biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, ABM, ALM, library and information studies
language
Swedish
id
1974073
date added to LUP
2011-06-16 13:03:40
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:16:31
@misc{1974073,
  abstract     = {Search engines have become a starting point to the Internet, and for the large majority, Google Search is the preferred choice. Research shows that users perceive search engines as neutral tools, or neutral platforms of information, when in fact search results per definition are ranked according to many different principles and regulations. Therefore, search engines are important gatekeepers of the Internet, meaning that they function as filters between the user and the information. Google’s mission statement; to make all the world’s information universally accessible, and to do this in accordance with their informal motto ”Don’t be evil”, has led to a large number of disputes both in the U.S and internationally. Thus, the company has been increasingly present in the media debate. Using a discourse analysis, this study examines articles from three major U.S newspapers on Google’s involvement in conflicts regarding the company’s mission statement. Our focus is to see why these conflicts have arisen, and in particular how Google is portrayed in the articles. Our results show four discourses. These discourses circle around the elements censorship, liability, dominance, and integrity. In two of them, Google’s identity is constructed as heroic, and the company represents American ideals such as freedom. In the other two discourses, Google is instead depicted as a threat. The main reason of conflict is the control of information, where traditional gatekeepers such as governments, authorities and other leading media companies, are opposing Google’s position. Overall, the image of the company is still mainly positive. However, more and more critical voices are raised, and the rights and responsibilities of search engines are being negotiated in legal cases worldwide. There are reasons to believe that in the future the search company will be subject to closer scrutiny. Media both create and reflect this process, and as a result the public awareness of the implications of search engines as gatekeepers on the Internet will be raised.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Ulrika and Söderblom, Hanna},
  keyword      = {filtrering,informationsfrihet,mediadebatt,sökneutralitet,gatekeeping,diskursanalys,Google,sökmotorer,informationspolitik,biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap,ABM,ALM,library and information studies
},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Internet Giant : en diskursteoretisk analys av mediedebatten i USA kring Google Search},
  year         = {2011},
}