Article | Indian Journal of Law and Technology | 2011

Bias in Search Results?: Diagnosis and Response

by Benjamin Edelman

Abstract

I explore allegations of search engine bias, including understanding a search engine's incentives to bias results, identifying possible forms of bias, and evaluating methods of verifying whether bias in fact occurs. I then consider possible legal and policy responses, and I assess search engines' likely defenses. I conclude that regulatory intervention is justified in light of the importance of search engines in referring users to all manner of other sites, and in light of striking market concentration among search engines.

Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Motivation and Incentives; Outcome or Result; Markets; Legal Liability; Policy; Search Technology; Performance Evaluation; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms;