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Last week Google apparently reversed course on availability its powerful search engine, which based on “principle” had withdrawn from China in 2010, after it refused to comply with the government’s wishes for it to self-censor content sensitive to its freedom-hating leaders.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.
On the same day an Associated Press survey of its member editors determined that workplace sexual harassment was the No. 1 story of 2017, Google’s corporate parent company Alphabet said its CEO, Eric Schmidt, will leave as chairman of its board of directors.
The development comes as Google became the subject of a recent report about corporation-wide mistreatment of women, accompanied by heightened scrutiny of Schmidt’s increasing reputation as a “womanizer.”
According to the New York Post, “news outlets have been sniffing around Schmidt’s former flames looking for a Harvey Weinstein-like bombshell,” but an anonymous source said “there is no sexual harassment.” A Google insider told the newspaper all his relationships have been “consensual” and that there are no settlements from the company to keep things quiet.
Nonetheless Schmidt’s exploits sound positively (Matt) Lauer-esque, with a “marriage” reminiscent of the separate lives existence of Bill and Hillary … Read More ➡
By now the complaints are voluminous and widely known, but it’s become clear that popular social media Web sites YouTube (a Google subsidiary), Twitter and Facebook do not intend to end censorship of conservatives’ messaging and content on their platforms.
The highest profile example from this week is Twitter’s block of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, who announced her campaign to run for the Senate seat currently held by retiring Bob Corker. The nearly 3-minute video highlighted Blackburn’s conservative credentials, including the claim that she’s “100 percent pro-life.”
“I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God,” Blackburn says in the video advertisement.
The 10-pager composed by newly unemployed James Damore was provocatively composed (not due to inciteful rhetoric, but tempered reasoning), yet also was imperfectly executed. It would be difficult not to stumble when dealing with an extremely hot button issue over 3,000 words. Imagine you were assigned a thesis titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” with a subtitle of “How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion,” and see how you do.
Damore deserves credit for tackling head-on such an emotionally charged topic, with which he triggered a passion power-surge. The CEO of Google subsidiary YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, immediately responded at Fortune.com with a “what will I tell my daughter” screed, ignoring Damore’s salient points, and fomenting simplistic “gender bias” accusations.
“When I saw the (Damore) memo that circulated last week,” Wojcicki wrote, “I once again felt that pain, and empathized with the pain it must have … Read More ➡
After saying shortly after the inauguration that he expected Donald Trump to do “evil things,” Alphabet (parent company of Google) executive chairman Eric Schmidt was back with another rant earlier this month about the president.
This time the adjective addressed intellect rather than malevolence. Schmidt seized an opportunity to vent at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, bemoaning limits on special visas for foreign workers in “special occupations,” mainly high-tech fields. But the target of his frustration wasn’t just the president.
“I spent the last 20 years announcing that the single stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas,” Schmidt said. “I have recently been trumped (pun apparently intended) by an America where you take the highly legal and highly technical people of seven countries … and you keep them trapped at JFK so our lawyers can spring them out.”