Google Downgrades Mug Shot Web Sites. Good Idea?
For those who want their minor indiscretions to go away (somewhat), probably. However, writer Mathew Ingram worries that Google's actions could put other sites in danger.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Recently, Google decided to change its algorithms so that when a person uses its search engine to look for someone, their mug shot -- as it appears on Web sites dedicated to making such pictures available to the public -- isn't the first (or second or third) thing that comes up. In addition, MasterCard chose to take its payment support off such sites, which can charge up to hundreds of dollars to people who want their pictures removed.
What's the Big Idea?
While this comes as good news to the many who don't want their past indiscretions held against them when looking for a job, as well as to those who advocate for "the right to be forgotten," writer Mathew Ingram wonders what the corporate targeting of mug shot sites -- which are technically legal -- means for other sites. He mentions WikiLeaks as an example of one "valuable site" from which MasterCard pulled its payments support in 2010. "[Are Google and MasterCard] going to somehow differentiate between the good uses of this kind of information and the bad ones? It seems...that there’s a very real risk that this kind of behavior could quickly become a slippery slope."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.