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.”
Just days before the midterm elections that have been elevated to the importance of a presidential year, Facebook once again has been caught censoring the messaging of a group trying to reach a critical voting bloc: social conservatives.
This time it’s the Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit organization active in both policy and politics, advocating for pro-life laws and informing voters where lawmakers stand on protecting the lives of the unborn.
The problems began with the release on consecutive days in early October of a pair of powerful ads featuring two families telling the stories of how their children were born prematurely due to pregnancy complications, but are healthy today. “Micah” was born at 22 weeks of development, and “Charlotte” was born at 24 weeks. Each ad, devoid of any shock imagery or content that runs afoul of Facebook’s standards, ends with the message, “unborn babies … Read More ➡ “Facebook Censors Election Messages It Doesn’t Like”
Perhaps the leaders of Silicon Valley’s major Internet-based tech companies be more credible if they heeded their conservative-leaning employees, who feel marginalized and muted, because of the leftist cultures they have cultivated in their workplaces.
And maybe these executives would be taken more seriously if they would simply stop lying – especially in places such as before Congressional committees – by saying they don’t “intentionally” impose policies that censor those on the right.
Because that is exactly what they do.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, after a recent campaign in which he made himself available to conservatives (including Sean Hannity) to discuss their grievances about restriction of their voices, admitted in an interview last week that his conservative employees don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves at the office.