Google as a political subject: the right to be forgotten debate 2014-2016

Linnéa Lindsköld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
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Abstract

Purpose
The aim of the study is to create knowledge on how Google and Google search are discursively constructed as a political subject suitable or not suitable for governing in the debate regarding the Right to be Forgotten ruling (RTBF).

Design/Methodology/Approach
28 texts are analysed using a Foucauldian discourse analysis focusing on political problematisations in the media and in blogs.

Findings
Google is conceptualised as a commercial company, a neutral facilitator of the world and as a judge of character. The discourse makes visible Google’s power over knowledge production. The individual being searched is constructed as a political object that is either guilty or innocent, invoking morality as a part of the policy. The ruling is framed as giving individuals power over companies, but the power still lies within Google’s technical framework.

Originality/value
The ruling opens up an empirical possibility to critically examine Google. The value of the study is the combination of focus on Google as a political subject and the individual being searched to understand how Google is constructed in the discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-783
JournalOnline Information Review
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Information Systems, Social aspects

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