Trump, Google lie about Internet censorship

This January 2018 video is called Organizing resistance to Internet censorship.

By Andre Damon in the USA:

Accused by Trump of rigging search results, Google denies political bias

29 August 2018

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump accused technology monopolist Google of manipulating search results to suppress right-wing news sources. …

Contrary to Trump’s claims, however, the main target of the censorship measures adopted by the Internet companies is not right-wing, but rather left-wing, socialist and anti-war publications. In August 2017, the World Socialist Web Site revealed that changes to Google’s search algorithm announced in April sharply reduced search traffic to left-wing sites, with search traffic to the World Socialist Web Site falling by 75 percent.

On August 25, 2017, the World Socialist Web Site published an open letter to Google demanding that the company stop its censorship of the internet. Google never replied to the letter.

In response to Trump’s criticisms, Google said in a Tuesday statement that its search service was “not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”

The company added, “Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries… We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

These statements are false. In an April 25, 2017, blog post, Google engineering VP Ben Gomes reported that the company had “made algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content.” In practice, Gomes explained, this involved a team of paid evaluators reviewing Google searches and downgrading those that showed “alternative viewpoints… unless the query indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.”

The ratings by these evaluators are then input into Google’s deep learning systems to modify search rankings. The effect of these changes was to bury left-wing political viewpoints in Google search results. As one example, the World Socialist Web Site does not appear in search results for “socialism”, while right-wing criticisms of socialism are disproportionately represented. Prior to the changes, the WSWS ranked high on search terms related to socialism, inequality and opposition to war.

Facebook has taken similar measures. In January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a notice stating that the company had taken action to promote “broadly trusted and high-quality sources” such as “the

Rupert Murdoch-owned

Wall Street Journal and the New York Times

which helped George W Bush start his Iraq war with its ‘Plamegate‘ ‘Iraqi uranium’ lies

while reducing exposure to “blogs that have intense followings but are not widely trusted beyond their core audience.” …

The Trump administration has itself taken measures to strengthen the control of the giant corporations over the Internet. In June, the administration ended the policy of net neutrality, giving internet service providers vast powers to censor the internet, including those sections not controlled by the social media monopolies.

GOOGLE + AXED Alphabet’s Google will shut down its social network Google+ after announcing that private profile data of at least 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of external developers. [Reuters]

14 thoughts on “Trump, Google lie about Internet censorship

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