Who’s afraid of conspiracy theories?

Via Marginal Revolution, the Amazing Tyler Cowen recently blogged about this new paper by Aleksandra Urmana, et al. To the point, the paper studies search results across five search engines — Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, and Yandex –in order to figure out which search engine censors conspiracy theories the most. (For his part, Cowen asks, Which search engine does the most to censor true conspiracy theories?) The Urmana, et al., paper concludes that, except for Google, the other four search engines “consistently displayed conspiracy-theory results and returned links to conspiracy-dedicated websites in their top results, although the share of such content varied across queries.” In other words, it is Google that does the most to censor conspiracy theories. What if, instead of trying to suppress or censor conspiracy theories, Google set up a special market to allow people bet on them instead? I propose just such a possibility here and here. I will say more about my “retrodiction market” idea in my next post.

People Drawn to Conspiracy Theories Share a Cluster of Psychological  Features - Scientific American
Image Credit: Scientific American

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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