"Inculcate values, morals, ethics, and authenticity."
Date: November 16, 2011 Updated: 2012 Re-sent: December 2014
TO: Sergey Brin
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
FM: Bruce Camber
RE: Rating system for web pages and web sites
Editor's Note: Let's all work with the Sergey, Larry and Eric team to expand Google's value system -- do no harm --so it reflects one's community, eveyone's own IP address. You are invited to use this email, rework it, and send it along to the team via the US Postal Service or online here.
Safesearch is a step in the right direction. There is something seriously missing within our online culture which, once implemented, would more vibrantly reflect your mission statement, “Do no harm.”
First let me acknowledge the enhancement of Google Search with the simple, optional, grading system for every visitor of a website. Let's take it one step further. I propose a very simple ten-step valuation system for every web page which also nets out a cumulative valuation for the hosting website.
Community Valuations open for Every Visited Website and Webpage.
Though not a very elegant title or characterization of this evaluation program, let it be a working title. Use a simple -5 to-0-to +5 notation.
The higher the average grade, the more that site would go to the top of the listings within that community. Thus, over time, the community would decide what sites are ranked the highest-to-the- lowest for the IP addresses within their area. Obviously the rankings would probably be quite different from city to town, and in the USA from the the East to the South to West Coast.
The lowest grade average would be pushed into the backwaters of the results of a search.
I realize that this is not an original idea with me, so again, this is just one vote among many.
0 represents no votes, null, no evaluation.
-5 represents those who do harm, these sites exploit people, promote evil, and make
our world a more dangerous place.
+5 for those who create value and uphold the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
to make our world a safer, nicer, better place.
If there is only one vote per IP address (which can be changed and updated), the net-net is a huge database project of the highest order, but that is exactly what you do best.
Three things precipitated this letter:
1. Confronting evil. A friend and former Muslim extremist, Tawfik Hamid aka Tarek Abdelhamid, sent me his rating system for terrorist organizations. Dr. Hamid is currently a Senior Fellow and Chair of the study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia. His rating system seemed naïvely constructed and open for mis-interpretation. I initially thought that he should use letters. That concept did not sit well with me so I began thinking about ratings.
In the quiet of the night, I began thinking about a -5 to-0-to +5 scale.
2. Confronting the exploitative and degrading sites. A younger, mischievous friend sent out a group email where he asked to be taken off every email list except those that tout bare women’s breasts (and of course there were pictures and links). Tasteless and bawdy, it nevertheless re-opened the porn world to me. Very early on, the web was saturated with pornography. When we started streaming video in 1999, one of our sponsors, Tim Forbes of the Forbes Magazine, shook his head and said, “Why are you streaming video? Only the porn sites do that.” He was right at that time. It is relatively easy to ignore porn sites and then to even forget that they are there. But, with my friend's email, it was hard to ignore a raunchy site offering college kids $10,000 for video of their vulgarity of the lowest caliber.
These sites are doing harm. If you enter the word, tits, in Google Search, most of the top ten sites are porn sites. McAfee’s Family Protection tries to take over, but obviously cannot keep up with these people.
All of those sites should be very hard to find.
*3. What does it mean to do no harm? My wife and I talked about Google, your history and your goals to be socially responsible. In today’s world, such a simple concept really needs to be empowered. On the web there is a quantitative-qualitative divide. It is a universal and historic question.
A very early part of that intellectual discussion is well-preserved by Plato's Euthyphro dilemma (399 BC). What is goodness? What is piety?
The web, businesses, and, yes, even people need to be rated. Humans impart qualities to everything via numbers. There is a "good" weight range by height. There is a reasonable temperature range for comfort. There is a very limited range when it comes to our health -- 37.0 °C (98.6 °F).
Numbers by themselves are not qualitative. It takes a human. And, one of the most simple operative concepts is “Do no harm.”
More Details: This working scale might be improved, however, let me focus on this -5 to 0 to +5 where 0 means the site has not been graded.
-5 for those who cause the greatest discontinuity of life, destroying relations and creating disharmony and discord. Include terrorists and violent gangs and people who kill others.
-4 for those who exploit children and the truly innocent. Tie a milestone around their neck and toss them into the sea. Here we would find most of the pornography and all the child abusers in any way, shape or form.
-3 for those who exploit others by enslavement of any kind, be it with drugs, violence, intimidation, or belief systems.
-2 for those who game the system for their own self-aggrandizement, profit and control whether through legalized processes, deception, dishonesty and cruelty. Enter all the gambling sites, the phishing, and the worst of Wall Street and so-called "businesses" of any kind that lie, cheat and steal. These people are simply bad companies of lost souls.
-1 for those who encourage lust, gluttony, infidelity, hatred neglect, abandonment and negligence. Enter all the others who attempt to capitalize on weaknesses.
0 No votes, no rating, null. The site has not been graded by anyone.
1 for those who in any simple way encourage conscientious behavior whereby there is an increase of continuity that results in more symmetry (relations) and harmony (positive relations).
2 for those who expand one's knowledge, stimulate insights and creativity and generally are considered good.
3 for those who make good things that generally create joy and happiness.
4 for those who do good things that generally create joy and happiness.
5 for those who create loving environments where there is consistent learning, insight, creativity, knowledge. and wisdom.
What do you think? Is it a possibility among the thousands of proposals that you all see daily? I think your programming staff could make short work of it and Google would stop being de facto complicit in doing harm. Thank you.
Bruce Camber, CEO, Executive Producer Small Business School, an educational television show Private Business Channel, Inc. http://SmallBusinessSchool.org
PS. You might find some of the links below useful as further backgrounder info. • The longest-running television series on PBS stations in the USA and the Voice of America around the world about best business practices. http://smallbusinessschool.org/page18.html
• Every business owner was recommended by many local business advocates, often the local Chamber of Commerce, and confirmed by their national trade association for their leadership, generosity of spirit, ethics, and courage. Nobody can pay or has ever paid to be on this show. http://smallbusinessschool.org/page898.html
• Many publishers, business associations, schools, and journals provide their constituents with access to daily business tips: http://smallbusinessschool.org/page2162.html