Google, from search engine to censorship corporation?

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 June 2012

“There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google. Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship…”. Some countries mentioned in the report include Spain, Germany, Canada, and the UK.

That was over five years ago, about Internet censorship by governments, reported by Google. However, lately Google is in the news for practicing censorship itself.

The New York Times in the USA has reported on 30 August 2017 about Barry Lynn. Mr Lynn’s employer, the New America Foundation think thank, has sacked him, and got rid of its team of scholars, including Lynn, studying monopolies in business. It seems, because Barry Lynn was critical of the monopolism of Google corporation, the sponsor of the New America Foundation; though the foundation claims that sponsors supposedly do not influence its policy.

On 31 August 2017, Kashmir Hill, ex-journalist of Forbes biweekly, wrote:

Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me …

Six years ago, I was pressured to unpublish a critical piece about Google’s monopolistic practices after the company got upset about it. In my case, the post stayed unpublished.

I was working for Forbes at the time, and was new to my job. In addition to writing and reporting, I helped run social media there, so I got pulled into a meeting with Google salespeople about Google’s then-new social network, Plus.

The Google salespeople were encouraging Forbes to add Plus’s “+1″ social buttons to articles on the site, alongside the Facebook Like button and the Reddit share button. They said it was important to do because the Plus recommendations would be a factor in search results—a crucial source of traffic to publishers.

This sounded like a news story to me. Google’s dominance in search and news give it tremendous power over publishers. By tying search results to the use of Plus, Google was using that muscle to force people to promote its social network.

I asked the Google people if I understood correctly: If a publisher didn’t put a +1 button on the page, its search results would suffer? The answer was yes.

Antimonopoly researchers say Google CEO pressured leading think tank to fire them: here.

Forbes writer says Google censored report on manipulation of search traffic: here.

So, Google search results are not objective, not based on how relevant web pages are to search terms; they are manipulated. Which reminds me of recent news about Google making anti-capitalist and pro-peace sites hard or impossible to find for internauts.

Since its launch on August 14, the World Socialist Web Site’s petition against Google’s blacklisting of socialist, antiwar and progressive websites from search results has received more than 3,000 signatures, with over a thousand signing in the last ten days: here.

Autoworkers in Detroit support campaign against Google Internet censorship: here.

Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites: here.

47 thoughts on “Google, from search engine to censorship corporation?

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