[re-search] Questions for Google

Richard Graham richardnvgraham at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 11:29:33 CET 2014

Dear Pascal,

Thanks so much for sharing the results of what sounds to have been a really
interesting discussion.

Best wishes and thanks again,


On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Jürgens, Pascal <
pascal.juergens at uni-mainz.de> wrote:

>  Dear all,
>  sorry for the high volume of messages, but going through your mails, I
> remembered one detail that is rather important:
>  Regarding the auto-complete function, the engineer insisted that it was
> "purely a popularity" metric. That meas that what appears in the
> autocomplete boxes is solely dependent on the terms that other users typed.
> There must be at least some minimal filtering for obscenity etc.
>  Following a high-profile court ruling in Germany, Google has been forced
> to exclude certain keywords from autocomplete suggestions. They did,
> however, stress that this would be too complex to do in a dynamic fashion
> and can only work with small sets of precisely defined keywords.
>  We did ask several questions about personalization; unfortunately, none
> of them could be answered (they couldn't say or didn't have the data).
>  All the best from Mainz,
> Pascal
>  --
> Pascal Jürgens M.A.
> +496131/39-25638
> Research Associate, Dept. of Communication
> U of Mainz, Germany
>  On 14 Jan 2014, at 00:39, Richard Graham <richardnvgraham at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>  Dear Pascal,
>  What a great opportunity, I hope it ends up being as valuable as it
> sounds.
>  If it fits with your discussion could you ask about
> autocorrect/autosuggestion please? Particularly the process whereby Google
> decide certain queries (words, or phrases) should not be suggested. Its an
> area that fits with all three of the topics you raised above. Privacy in
> terms of limiting slanderous autosuggestions relating to specific people.
> Personalisation: might a version of the filter bubble be working through
> autocomplete suggestions relating to previous search behaviours or
> geographical localisation? And media literacy in the way users, on the
> whole, have little understanding of why certain suggestions are being
> presented to them.
>  Google have given small indications to some of the things which are
> excluded or removed from autosuggest in the past but in a vague and guarded
> way. I'd be very interested to hear more detail about the way in which
> Google feel the feature functions, who is responsible for its direction and
> the decisions and guidelines taken towards its continuing and future
> developments.
>  Hope its a productive meeting,
>  Best,
>  Richard Graham
> AHRC Doctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities
> Exeter University
> @richardnvgraham
> On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM, Jürgens, Pascal <
> pascal.juergens at uni-mainz.de> wrote:
>> Dear list members,
>> (sorry for the short notice)
>> As part of a larger research project, I'll be meeting with several Google
>> representatives including search engineers tomorrow.
>> We'll have the opportunity to ask questions, and I wanted to hear if
>> anyone of you has an issue that is particularly dear to your heart. If it
>> fits in, I'd love to ask them about any of your questions.
>> I don't yet know about NDAs, so I can't promise a full disclosure, but
>> I'll try my best!
>> The main topics will be privacy, personalization and media literacy.
>> Best regards from Mainz,
>> Pascal
>> --
>> Pascal Jürgens M.A.
>> Tel. +496131/39-25638
>> Research Associate, Dept. of Communication
>> U of Mainz, Germany
>> _______________________________________________
>> re-search mailing list
>> re-search at listcultures.org
>> http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/re-search_listcultures.org

Richard Graham
AHRC Doctoral Fellow in English (Digital Humanities)
University of Exeter
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