A hard hitting topic to put on the blog, for sure, but a serious point none the less that should be looked at and investigated. Many people have been disturbed by the recent and terrible news about Mark Bridger and April Jones. I, for one, am absolutely disgusted that this happens in our society and wish that it was eradicated.
But unfortunately it happens behind closed doors and by people that we wouldn’t suspect. So what can be done to stop this from happening? How can we protect our children from these hidden characters?
Well, let’s look at Google. Google have the ability, and power, to provide insight into this and help eradicate it. Apparently, Google are to be questioned about what it can do to stop it. There are more searches made with pornographic intent than any other query. Here is a look at what Google could be doing to help in this situation.
Indexing and the Database
Google indexes so much content that it got the name Google from the number Googel (the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes). Now, once Google finds the content around the web it takes it back to the database and from there it puts it in the search results for relevant searches. So there are two things Google could do in this regard
Firstly, any content that is found on the internet of an illegal nature should not be put in the database and shouldn’t be put in the index. This will mean that whenever a search is made illegal intent then no content will be displayed. Google will be disarming these villains straight away.
Secondly, all webpages that Google finds to have illegal content can be handed straight to the authorities to investigate, and start clamping down on any culprits putting this content out there.
Links & Networks between Illegal Content and Websites
Google’s whole algorithm is based on a network of links between webpages and websites. Google are currently undergoing a complete overhaul of poor quality links called “Penguin update” which is improving the quality of results shown when you make a search on Google. The approach taken here could be replicated, in sorts, to an approach clamping down on illegal content. Not only could Google stop indexing this content, it could even launch a full scale, international investigation, into internet links between all child pornographic links. If it passed that over to all governments, they can do the rest and target the owners of such websites and put them in prison, where they should be!
Search Term Analysis
Google should be collating a list of all search terms that have any illegal intent and do it’s utmost to policy indexing of content that may be served for search enquiries with any borderline illegal intent. There should be a clear partnership between governments and Google to police search terms made that clearly have illegal intentions. After all, 97% of consumers will use Google at some point during their buying process, whether that means buying online or offline, so of course criminals will be using Google in the same way to find and research content that they need. Google just need to determine which search terms would be deemed illegal and should be investigated in partnership with the government and police.
Locations of IP Addresses
Google can track all searches made by location based on the IP address of the computer being used. Surely Google have data on locations around the world of where these searches are being made, what time, and even if the IP is specific to the device it could locate a user to a house. Whilst that may raise privacy concerns, I am sure a democratic vote would show that in these circumstances it is a useful tool.
In short, whilst we are not saying Google are culpable, we are merely saying that Google could be doing more to stop this from happening. Google could even be seen to be saving lives. However, any change here is likely to involve significant changes to privacy laws which would not be easily done.