Monday October 20, 2014
Google Reviews ... the U.S. Supreme Court?
I came across this last week during a Google search on SCOTUS and did a double-take:
Um ... 3.5 stars? Because? Well, because the justices have no idea about the Constitution! And they're a bunch of ring-wing religious nuts! No wait, it's because their [sic] not Christians!
America, sometimes you make me long for censorship.†
The bigger question is why Google users even have the option of reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court.
Well, it turns out, they're not reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court. They're reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court building. At least, that's what they're supposed to be reviewing.
It's via Google+/Local. You see some sight, post your thoughts. But among the Google+ review policies is this: “Reviews arenít meant to be a forum for general political or social commentary or personal rants.” Which means no one's policing this thing. They're just placing it all prominently next to any Google search on the topic. No biggee.
Here are a few other famous sights, ranked, along with “reviews.” Basically if it's a political institution, people aren't refraining from political talk:
- The Lincoln Memorial: 4.7 stars
- The Empire State Building: 4.5: “Also WTF with making people climb 6 stories to reach the observation deck.”
- The U.S. Capitol: 4.3: “Dear Congress. You suck. Re-elect NO ONE!”
- The White House: 4.2: “I don't think I will go back since the current administration is balls.”
- The Space Needle: 4.2
- Experience Music Project (Seattle): 4.1
- The Smith Tower (Seattle): 4.0
- The Wells Fargo building (Minneapolis): 3.2
One of my favorite parts of this supreme waste of time? Finding Google's tips for writing great reviews. Apparently you're supposed to be “informative and insightful,” and you should “write with style” and “keep it real.” Sadly, nothing on “avoiding being obvious.”