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[liberationtech] Paper on Baidu and Google’s Search Results of Internet Events in China

Jiang, Min Min.Jiang at uncc.edu
Sat Jul 14 06:16:24 PDT 2012


Dear colleagues,

I've recently written a paper on Baidu and Google's search results that might be of interest to some of you here. The paper can be downloaded from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2027436 and feel free to send your comments and critique. Thanks!

Abstract:
Despite growing interest in search engines in China, relatively few empirical studies have examined their sociopolitical implications. This study fills several research gaps by comparing query results (N=6320) from China’s two leading search engines: Baidu and Google, focusing on accessibility, overlap, ranking, and bias patterns. Analysis of query results of 316 popular Chinese Internet events reveal: 1) after Google moved to HK, compared to Baidu, Google’s results are equally, if not more, likely to be inaccessible, and Baidu’s filtering is much subtler than the Great Firewall’s (GFW) wholesale blocking of Google’s results; 2) there is little overlap (6.8%) and minimal ranking agreement (1.7%) between Baidu and Google’s results, suggesting different search engines, different results and different social realities; and 3) Baidu rarely links to its competitors Hudong Baike or Wikipedia China, while their presence in Google’s results is much more prominent, raising search bias concerns. These results suggest search engines can be architecturally altered to serve political regimes, arbitrary in rendering social realities, and biased toward their own self interest.

Min


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Min Jiang (Ph.D. Purdue), Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Affiliate Faculty, International Studies
Affiliate Researcher, Center for Advanced Research in the Humanities,
Complex Systems Institute
5011 Colvard N., UNCC, 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223
704-687-0768| Min.Jiang at uncc.edu<mailto:Min.Jiang at uncc.edu> | Twitter @mindyjiang<http://www.twitter.com/mindyjiang>

Research Affiliate
Center for Global Communication Studies, University of Pennsylvania
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