Google CEO warns politicians

Written by Brett Thomas

October 5, 2006 | 14:40

Tags: #eric-schmidt #tory

Companies: #google

Q - How can you tell if a politician is lying?
A - If his lips are moving.
- Old, old joke


It's comments like that one that really make you wonder why we elect some of our representatives. Do they really deserve such a bad rap? Are they really always lying? The internet is starting to really help determine just that, and Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, is bringing politicians up to speed.

In a speech given to the UK Conservative Party on Tuesday, Mr. Schmidt cautioned that elections would "forever change within five years." His reasoning? Fact checking - it is now easier than ever to search the information that a politician speaks about, even right during a debate. In fact, this is getting to be a growing trend already.

One shouldn't be surprised that it actually took the CEO of Google to inform politicians that there is a thing called the interweb, and it allows people to know whether they're lying or not. After all, who can forget the great speech by US Senator Stevens on those clogged tubes? However, it's nice that someone finally spelled out that people are already doing this during live debates, and immediately blogging the response.

Nobody knows whether this will have any effect on what is said in debates or campaigns, but one thing is for certain - Schmidt is right on the money that voters are becoming more aware of how to check facts, and are beginning to hold the representatives much more responsible for the things they say. In the interview following his speech, Eric summed it up nicely:

"One of my messages to them is to think about having every one of your voters online all the time, then inputting ‘is this true or false?’ We [at Google] are not in charge of truth but we might be able to give a probability.”

It's a brave new world out there for politicians...better watch out for those tubes.

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