Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have created a new web tool to direct users' attention to what it considers are biased search results from Google.
The browser add-on, which only works for Firefox users, is called 'Don't be evil' (a reference to one of Google's early mottoes), and has been created in an attempt to stop the search giant from promoting its own social network, Google+, to the top of people's web searches.
Earlier this month, Google announced a search update called 'Search Plus Your World', which means users will see more links to Google+ when they search the web, including in part of the results page usually set aside for advertising.
It is the latest example of Google promoting its secondary services via search, a practice currently under investigation by European competition authorities for alleged monopoly abuses.
"You can find relevant Google+ posts from friends talking about an amazing trip they just took, whether they've shared privately with you or publicly," Google said in a blog post.
"Starting today, if you search for a topic like [music] or [baseball], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page."
The update is only live in the US at the moment. However, engineers from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, teamed up over the weekend to work with some developers from Firefox, to create the 'Don't be evil' browser add-on, which will negate the effects of the latest Google update.
The open-source piece of software can be downloaded from focusontheuser.org. The site provides examples of search results using the tool.
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can't take it all in! Psalm 139: 1-6 Boy, it takes a whole lot of faith to stare into the beauty of creation and then think that it just accidentally or randomly happened. To see the delicate balance there is in life and…See More