Much has been made of the global media’s lack of attention towards the tragic fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest at the moment, but Google’s algorithms are equally guilty.
Ecommerce giant Amazon is at the top of many of the search results for the tragedy, particular its unfortunately named Amazon Fire tablet.
Searches for both “amazon fire” and “amazon fires” on Google News returns a number of articles highlighting special deals on the tablet.
Users have even reported the search “fire in the amazon” brings tablet deals, although this appears to have now been updated.
The Jeff Bezos-led company’s SEO performance has in part been aided by its ‘summer sale’ now going on in the US, which has attracted some coverage.
But the algorithmic oversight has brought with it much outrage, with social media users complaining it typifies the lack of global interest in the story.
If you really want to see how humans value nature, just Google "Amazon Fire" and you'll see that the Amazon Fire Tablet more than the Amazon rainforest fire…. just sad. There needs to be more media coverage on this fire. #PrayForTheAmazon
— Kaeli/Dubious Attribute (@attributemusic) August 22, 2019
I typed in amazon fire in google to show a coworker the pictures of the fire and google showed me the amazon fire tablet. If that tells you the importance we're placing on the destruction of an entire eco system#AmazonRainforest
— Emily (@fandomglam) August 22, 2019
The Brazilian Amazon has experienced 74,155 fires since January and the latest blazes have been burning for days, covering the county in a plume of smoke.
Experts are concerned that the destruction could accelerate global warming as the fires clear kilometres of vegetation.