The latest earnings report from Alphabet, Google’s parent company, demonstrates that the company is still a cash cow, but it does nothing to allay fears about the intrusive role “big data” plays in our lives. Nor does it provide respite from serious credibility problems facing the company’s leadership.
For instance, Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have lied to Congress. Pichai testified in December before the House Judiciary Committee, where members grilled him about transparency, data collection, and how Google filters search results. Moreover, several Republican congressmen wanted answers about political and ideological bias.
The plaintive Pichai was unequivocal. “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result,” he claimed, because of the massive scale of trillions of searches each year. “It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results.”
However, according to an internal discussion thread leaked by an anonymous company … Read More ➡
Google CEO Sundar Pichai made his long-awaited appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to testify, and receive a grilling, about censorship of political conservatives and a planned search engine for communist China.
As expected, like other heads of fellow technology companies such as Facebook and Twitter, Pichai denied any prejudice in its services or products.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.”
Google’s best-known and most important service is Internet search, to the degree that the corporate name is now a verb (“Google it”) when referring to researching terms on the Web. Pichai said … Read More ➡
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has submitted a shareholder proposal to Alphabet, the parent company of Google, addressing the issue of sexual harassment. Last week, Google announced that it would end its policy of requiring mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims. The move apparently prompted similar actions by Facebook, eBay and Airbnb.
The Alphabet annual meeting is expected to take place in June. We hope that the company will embrace our resolution to demonstrate its commitment to dealing with this problem. If the company does not support it, we call upon fellow shareholders to act.
NLPC sponsors the Corporate Integrity Project. Here is the text of the resolution and supporting statement:
WHEREAS, Company executives have aggressively allied themselves with a variety of progressive social and political causes at the same time sexual harassment is alleged to be a serious problem within the Company by many of the Company’s own … Read More ➡
An effort to confer special rights upon individuals who want to “decide” their gender, rather than go with the biology they were born with, was greatly energized and expanded by the Obama administration.
Now the Trump administration is attempting to return that policy to normalcy, which predictably has a number of liberal technology companies steaming.
The likes of Apple and Amazon, and 50-something other companies, have joined to sign a letter opposing plans by the Department of Health and Human Services to restore definitions of sex to remove “identity” and limit it according to the genitalia an individual is born with, for the purposes of Title IX enforcement of gender discrimination in civil rights law.
The change has implications in education, health care, employment, and just about every other walk of life.
As the midterms approach, Republicans and President Trump talk a lot about the sheer mob-bery of the outraged Left, who attack political opponents both loudly and violently, over issues such as Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, as well as immigration and abortion.
Upon the swearing in of Brett Kavanaugh as the newest Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court after he was falsely accused by Democrats of sexual attacks and impropriety, Google lead designer Dave Hogue let loose on Twitter with a profane rant that condemned Republicans to a painful eternal destiny of torment.
And he wasn’t fired for it – at least not that we know of.
Last month at National Legal and Policy Center we pondered the question whether Google will “cave to Chinese communists while censoring conservatives at home?”
We already knew, and know, the answer. But a month-and-a-half’s time has only further confirmed the answer is “yes.”
Last week The Intercept reported that Google – despite previous claims that downplayed any plans to rejuvenate a search engine in China that complies with the Communist government’s wishes – is indeed furthering the project along. A discovery of a top-secret company memo showed the search engine, code-named “Dragonfly,” would “require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have ‘unilateral access’ to the data.” Searches would be tied to users’ phone numbers, making it easy for the government to track down anyone researching topics or issues they don’t like – such as … Read More ➡
Last week Google apparently reversed course on availability its powerful search engine, which based on “principle” had withdrawn from China in 2010, after it refused to comply with the government’s wishes for it to self-censor content sensitive to its freedom-hating leaders. Now, under a program called “Dragonfly,” Google is said to be developing a version of its search engine that would comply with Chinese demands.
Search is where Google generates huge profits, and missing out on the massive market in Asia clearly bugs them in Silicon Valley.
“Google is waking up to smell the coffee,” said Andy Mok, founder and president of Beijing-based consultancy … Read More ➡
Of course the major technology companies based in Silicon Valley – who almost unanimously have advocated for open borders policies that come with unlimited visas for the foreign workers they want to employ – have joined the chorus.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reacted, while in Dublin, to the widespread pictures of immigrant children housed in facilities away from their detained parents.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids,” he said. “Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop. I’m personally a big believer in the way to be a good citizen is to participate, … Read More ➡
But when it’s conservatives who are censored on powerful, widely read platforms, it’s hard to find any journalists who care.
Such was the case last week when Project Veritas exposed, in an undercover investigation, how Twitter systematically diminishes – and even bans – access to posts published by those on the Right. One Twitter manager in charge of gatekeeping called their censorship victims “shi**y people.”
Then there was the revelation by The Daily Caller that Google’s “fact check” feature seems to exclusively target conservative web sites in its results. In other words, no suspect or controversial claims by liberal web site publishers are scrutinized for accuracy – only those on the right.