Maybe accuracy is the next thing we will all search for

Social networking sites are increasing in popularity and web surfers care more about politicians’ image than their policies, according to a new study.

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, has been studying internet usage patterns and found that social networking sites are receiving more and more hits, particularly in the 18 to 24 age bracket.

He also found that images of Sarah Palin were searched for more than her policy statements and ditto with Barack Obama, with many particularly interested in his height.

More people visited celebrity websites that those for religion, wellbeing, politics and diets put together.

He worried, however, about the amount of bad information now available.

‘With the explosion of this type of false information on the internet, I think we will see someone come forward and develop a new type of software that can filter for the most accurate information, he said.

‘Maybe accuracy is the next thing we will all search for.’

Internet founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee also recently stated that there should be a mechanism to control falsehoods spread online.

BCS, 19/09/08, ‘Online search habits revealed’.