Tuesday brought endless commentary and reporting on how President Trump was being utterly ridiculous and conspiratorial to accuse Google of bias in its search algorithms. Funny: Just over a year ago, in June 2017, the European Union fined the company $2.7 billion for … bias in its search algorithms.
Yes, Trump’s off-the-cuff charge focused on political bias, whereas the EU verdict (after a seven-year investigation) was about the company “systematically favoring” its own Google Shopping feature. But all the Trump-bashers who were suggesting Google would never, ever put its thumb on the scale seem to have ignored at least one elephant in the room.
As we write, the top headlines on Google News include two CNN stories: “Trump slams Google search as ‘rigged’ — but it’s not” and “Debunking Donald Trump’s latest conspiracy theory on Google.” How is the average Web surfer to trust that Google isn’t weighting those stories?
Break up Big Tech’s monopolies.
The post went up quietly on Facebook’s internal message board last week. Titled “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity,” it quickly took off inside the social network.
“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was obtained by The New York Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
Since the post went up, more than 100 Facebook employees have joined Mr. Amerige to form an online group called FB’ers for Political Diversity, according to two people who viewed the group’s page and who were not authorized to speak publicly. The aim of the initiative, according to Mr. Amerige’s memo, is to create a space for ideological diversity within the company.
Good for them. But we should break up Facebook too.
MAYBE HE’S ASHAMED: Senators Criticize Google CEO for Declining to Testify. Committee Chair Sen. Richard Burr: “Google chooses not to participate and being part of the solution. That’s a decision they made.”
Well, they’ve certainly chosen to be part of the problem.
Related: Google needs a new CEO, but dumping Sundar Pichai is not enough. “Since its 1990s heyday, Silicon Valley has transformed from an unruly collection of aggressive upstarts disrupting existing industries to a flabby collection of near-monopolies, now busy enforcing gentry-liberal norms on their employees and customers. Whether it’s censoring right-leaning political figures, or firing employees who dare say something truthful but politically incorrect, there’s not much of the old startup spirit there. These are flabby overstaffed Big Business corporations, run by their HR departments. You might find more dynamism at General Motors, these days. But worse yet, they exercise tremendous power and require tremendous trust.” And they’ve repeatedly proven themselves unworthy of that trust.
IF IT WERE RUSSIA, THE SCREAMS WOULD BE UNBEARABLE: A refreshingly honest Op/Ed moment at The Washington Post, where a former political prisoner rightly (IMHO) chides Google for being evil a.f. and cozying up to China.
In prison I labored secretly for months to secure a forbidden shortwave radio, which I kept hidden in a used milk carton. I listened to programs like Voice of America and Radio Free Asia at night while wrapped under my quilt, the speaker pressed close to my ear at the lowest possible volume. Having had my freedom denied me by the Chinese Communist Party, the news of this upstart tech company risking lost revenue to do the right thing gave me real hope […] And then came news about Google’s work on a censored search engine (code-named “Dragonfly”). After my initial shock wore off, I found myself wondering what had occurred to cause the company to shed its defining principle in such a blatant fashion. Does Google really want to become a tool of the dictatorial communist regime?
“Don’t Be Evil?” That’s so 90’s. The fact is most of Congress and K Street are bought and paid for by China, and the more people see Putin hiding in their closet, the more China will be able to strengthen its economic, military and social engineering hegemony.
WATCH PEOPLE PIVOT FROM “FREE SPEECH IS A TOOL OF WHITE SUPREMACY AND THE PATRIARCHY” TO “FREE SPEECH IS AT THE CORE OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT” IN 5, 4, 3, 2 . . . Trump aide says president weighing regulations on Google search engine that he considers ‘rigged.’