censorship

Big Tech’s Censorship Continues To Squeeze Free Speech

Technocrats in Big Tech companies march to their own drumbeat of Technocracy, driving for a fully-engineered society controlled by them. Their self-view as masters of the universe will eventually be rejected . ⁃ TN Editor

As Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives becomes ever more flagrant and overt, the old arguments about protecting the sanctity of the modern public square are now invalid. Our right to freely engage in public discourse through speech is under sustained attack, necessitating a vigorous defense against the major social media and internet platforms.

From “shadowbans” on Facebook and Twitter, to demonetization of YouTube videos, to pulled ads for Republican candidates at the critical junctures of election campaigns, the list of violations against the online practices and speech of conservatives is long.

I certainly had my suspicions confirmed when Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, “accidentally” censored a post I made regarding the Jussie Smollett hoax, which consequently led to me hearing from hundreds of my followers about how they’ve been having problems seeing, liking or being able to interact with my posts. Many of them even claimed that they’ve had to repeatedly refollow me, as Instagram keeps unfollowing me on their accounts.

While nothing about Big Tech’s censorship of conservatives truly surprises me anymore, it’s still chilling to see the proof for yourself. If it can happen to me, the son of the president, with millions of followers on social media, just think about how bad it must be for conservatives with smaller followings and those who don’t have the soapbox or media reach to push back when they’re being targeted?

Thanks to a brave Facebook whistleblower who approached James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant developed algorithms to “deboost” certain content, limiting its distribution and appearance in news feeds. As you probably guessed, this stealth censorship was specifically aimed at conservatives.

Facebook appears to have deliberately tailored its algorithm to recognize the syntax and style popular among conservatives in order to “deboost” that content. “Mainstream media,” “SJW” (Social Justice Warrior) and “red pill” — all terms that conservatives often use to express themselves — were listed as red flags, according to the former Facebook insider.

Facebook engineers even cited BlazeTV host Lauren Chen’s video criticizing the social justice movement as an example of the kind of “red pills” that users just aren’t allowed to drop anymore. Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists such as the Young Turks enjoy free rein on the social media platform.

Despite the occasional brave gesture, politicians have been far too sluggish in recognizing the extent of the problem. But the Republican Party and the conservative movement are becoming more vigilant against the suppression of our speech, as we saw at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

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CPAC

CPAC: Google Mulls ‘Steering’ The Conservative Movement

At Google, technocrat skills of social engineering are focused on nudging the conservative movement to be more accepting and positive toward its policies. In this case, CPAC is a logical place to start. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Google’s senior director of U.S. public policy, Adam Kovacevich appeared to describe the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as a “sideshow Circus,” in a leaked audio recording in which he also argued that Google should remain a sponsor of the conference to “steer” the conservative movement “away from nationalistic and incendiary comments.”

The comments came to light in leaked audio files allegedly of a company-wide meeting at Google, part of which is now exclusively reported by Breitbart News. Another part of the transcript was released last Friday on while further snippets revealing Google’s funding of establishment conservative think-tanks were published by the left-leaning tech magazine Wired in December.

The alleged meeting took place in the wake of Google’s sponsorship of CPAC in 2018, which triggered an internal rebellion from left-wing employees of the tech giant. Breitbart News exclusively reported on the revolt at the time, in which radical left-wingers inside Google accused CPAC of “ethno-nationalism” and “hate.”

Google has not denied the authenticity of the leaked material.

In the clips, the transcripts of which are posted in full below, Kovacevich portrayed CPAC as a conference with a “dual identity,” one being a “premier gathering” that features a “whole swath of conservatives,” including “national security conservatives, economic conservatives, libertarians, the Log Cabin Republicans, deficit hawks, small government advocates.”

In the audio clip, the other side of CPAC was described in disparaging terms by Kovacevich as featuring a “sideshow circus-like element” which “CPAC organizers have intentionally cultivated sometimes, inviting outrageous figures that say incendiary and offensive things, I think in order to draw more attention and controversy to the conference.”

“I want to be clear that we don’t agree with those things, right?” continued Kovacevich. “We abhor and rebuke the offensive things that are said at the conference. Those things obviously don’t align with Google’s values and our approach.”

“And I think it’s challenging for us to reconcile those two identities of CPAC.”

In another audio clip of the same conversation provided to Breitbart News, Kovacevich appeared to describe the importance of reaching out to conservatives in order to counter conservative media, including Breitbart News. Kovacevich warned of “growing negative attention from the conservative media which is influential among those same Republicans who control government.” He went on to accuse conservative media of “pushing the storyline that Google is biased against conservatives.”

“And of course we aim to build products for everyone but if that notion becomes accepted among conservative and Republican policymakers, that could be harmful to our mission of building products for everyone.”

The full transcript follows below:

Yeah, it’s a great question Greg. I appreciate the question. I think one of the big themes – I think picking up on your question – that I saw in some internal listservs and one of the Dory questions focused on the question of the other speakers, right? What are we saying in terms of sponsoring a conference where you have sort of incendiary speakers, right, and I think it’s a very valid question, one we’ve talked a lot about here. I think, to be candid, one of the challenges we face with CPAC is that the conference itself has a kind of a dual identity. So on the one hand, it’s really the premier gathering of sort of big-tent conservatives. Especially in non-presidential years it sort of in some ways takes the place of the annual Republican National Convention. You have a whole swath of conservatives: national security conservatives, economic conservatives, libertarians, the Log Cabin Republicans, deficit hawks, small government advocates who attend the conference. The conference is attended by about 10,000 people. And so one of the other things is that the Republican Party and I think conservatism, in general, is also going through a lot of internal debates about what it should be, right, what should be sort of the position of the party. And I think that’s one that we should be involved in because we, I think, want probably — the majority of Googlers would want to steer conservatives and Republicans more towards a message of liberty and freedom and away from the more sort of nationalistic incendiary comments, nativist comments and things like that. But it has been a very valuable place for us to reach a lot of the people and the big tent of conservatism.

On the other hand, and sort of to get to the point of the dual identity, in recent years with CPAC there has also been this kind of sideshow circus-like element, right, that I think the CPAC organizers have intentionally cultivated sometimes, inviting outrageous figures that say incendiary and offensive things, I think in order to draw more attention and controversy to the conference. I want to be clear that we don’t agree with those things, right? We abhor and rebuke the offensive things that are said at the conference. Those things obviously don’t align with Google’s values and our approach. And I think that it’s challenging for us to reconcile those two identities of CPAC. I think one of the things that — we also face this question in other areas, by the way. So in the realm of sort of politics, there’s always going to — there’s often going to be someone at some event we sponsor who will say something we don’t agree with. Last year, a group that we support, the New America Foundation, had your guys’s, one of your Senators, Elizabeth Warren. She spoke, and she called for the breakup of Google at that [laughter] conference, right? The conference of an organization we support. Obviously we don’t support that position.

 

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Employees: Google Continues Development Of China’s Censorship Search Engine

Dissenting employees are waiting for Google to declare that “censorship is unacceptable and that they will not collaborate with governments in the oppression of their people.” They may be waiting for a long time. ⁃ TN Editor

Google employees have carried out their own investigation into the company’s plan to launch a censored search engine for China and say they are concerned that development of the project remains ongoing, The Intercept can reveal.

Late last year, bosses moved engineers away from working on the controversial project, known as Dragonfly, and said that there were no current plans to launch it. However, a group of employees at the company was unsatisfied with the lack of information from leadership on the issue — and took matters into their own hands.

The group has identified ongoing work on a batch of code that is associated with the China search engine, according to three Google sources. The development has stoked anger inside Google offices, where many of the company’s 88,000 workforce previously protested against plans to launch the search engine, which was designed to censor broad categories of information associated with human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.

In December, The Intercept reported that an internal dispute and political pressure on Google had stopped development of Dragonfly. Google bosses had originally planned to launch it between January and April of this year. But they changed course after the outcry over the plan and indicated to employees who were working on the project that it was being shelved.

Google’s Caesar Sengupta, an executive with a leadership role on Dragonfly, told engineers and others who were working on the censored search engine in mid-December that they would be allocated new projects funded by different “cost centers” of the company’s budget. In a message marked “confidential – do not forward,” which has been newly obtained by The Intercept, Sengupta told the Dragonfly workers:

Over the past few quarters, we have tackled different aspects of what search would look like in China. While we’ve made progress in our understanding of the market and user needs, many unknowns remain and currently we have no plans to launch.

Back in July we said at our all hands that we did not feel we could make much progress right now. Since then, many people have effectively rolled off the project while others have been working on adjacent areas such as improving our Chinese language capabilities that also benefit users globally. Thank you for all of your hard work here.

As we finalize business planning for 2019, our priority is for you to be productive and have clear objectives, so we have started to align cost centers to better reflect what people are actually working on.

Thanks again — and your leads will follow up with you on next steps.

Sources with knowledge of Dragonfly said staff who were working on the project were not told to immediately cease their efforts. Rather, they were instructed to finish up the jobs they were doing and then they would be allocated new work on other teams. Some of those who were working on Dragonfly were moved into different areas, focusing on projects related to Google’s search services in India, Indonesia, Russia, the Middle East, and Brazil.

But Google executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai, refused both publicly and privately to completely rule out launching the censored search engine in the future. This led a group of concerned employees — who were themselves not directly involved with Dragonfly — to closely monitor the company’s internal systems for information about the project and circulate their findings on an internal messaging list.

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Internal Google Leak Reveals ‘Blacklist’ Used To Skew Search Results

Technocrats at Google lied about how they personally manipulate search results and then tried to cover it up. Now, they are busted in the act. Furthermore, Google CEO Pinchai may have lied to Congress when under oath. ⁃ TN Editor

Following Breitbart News’ latest bombshell report on Google’s blacklisting of pro-life YouTube videos, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) commented on the company’s manipulative actions. Rep. Gohmert told Breitbart News: “If Mr. Pichai lied to Congress, he was under oath and it would be a criminal matter for a Grand Jury.”

Breitbart News recently published yet another leak from within Google, which reveals that YouTube has manually intervened to blacklist pro-life videos in its search results on numerous occasions. It was further revealed that Google often engages in “manual actions” in order to correct controversial search results in their search product, as well as their Google Home and Google Assistant device search results. Some of the altered search results reportedly relate to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters and anti-gun activist David Hogg.

Breitbart News reached out to Rep. Louie Gohmert for comment on the issue. In a written statement to Breitbart News, Gohmert said:

The information leaked from Google certainly raises yet another concern of Google and YouTube subjectivity and manual manipulation of search results.  If Mr. Pichai lied to Congress, he was under oath and it would be a criminal matter for a Grand Jury. His defense would become more inconsequential by a ‘Trust & Safety Team’ verification that there were ‘huge teams’ at Google involved in determining the manual manipulations that Mr. Pichai testified were not happening.

Regardless, this issue is more reinforcement for my bill (H.R.492) that would remove large social media companies’ immunity from lawsuits. This immunity was provided when these types of internet outlets were argued to be simply like ‘town squares’ where anyone had equal access to come and speak without filter. However, now we know that’s not the case. Instead of acting like the neutral platforms they claimed to be in order to obtain their immunity, it appears to me that some have turned Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 into a license to manipulate results, censor political thought with which they disagree, and even defraud with impunity. Testimony from witnesses like Diamond and Silk that raise issues of potential deception and fraud should be heard in court.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about the revelations in the article as well:

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Facebook Employees Accuse It Of Being Cult-Like

There are a number of factors, including culture, peer-pressure and job evaluation processes, all of which spin into an internal echo-chamber that produces the Technocrat group-think that so angers outsiders. ⁃ TN Editor

At a company-wide town hall in early October, numerous Facebook employees got in line to speak about their experiences with sexual harassment.

The company called the special town hall after head of policy Joel Kaplan caused an internal uproar for appearing at the congressional hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. A young female employee was among those who got up to speak, addressing her comments directly to COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“I was reticent to speak, Sheryl, because the pressure for us to act as though everything is fine and that we love working here is so great that it hurts,” she said, according to multiple former Facebook employees who witnessed the event.

“There shouldn’t be this pressure to pretend to love something when I don’t feel this way,” said the employee, setting off a wave of applause from her colleagues at the emotional town hall in Menlo Park, California.

The episode speaks to an atmosphere at Facebook in which employees feel pressure to place the company above all else in their lives, fall in line with their manager’s orders and force cordiality with their colleagues so they can advance. Several former employees likened the culture to a “cult.”

This culture has contributed to the company’s well-publicized wave of scandals over the last two years, such as governments spreading misinformation to try to influence elections and the misuse of private user data, according to many people who worked there during this period. They say Facebook might have have caught some of these problems sooner if employees were encouraged to deliver honest feedback. Amid these scandals, Facebook’s share price fell nearly 30 percent in 2018 and nearly 40 percent since a peak in July, resulting in a loss of more than $252 billion in market capitalization.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s reputation as being one of the best places in Silicon Valley to work is starting to show some cracks. According to Glassdoor, which lets employees anonymously review their workplaces, Facebook fell from being the best place to work in the U.S. to No. 7 in the last year.

But employees don’t complain in the workplace.

“There’s a real culture of ‘Even if you are f—ing miserable, you need to act like you love this place,'” said one ex-employee who left in October. “It is not OK to act like this is not the best place to work.”

This account is based on conversations with more than a dozen former Facebook employees who left between late 2016 and the end of 2018. These people requested anonymity in describing Facebook’s work culture, including its “stack ranking” employee performance evaluation system and their experiences with it, because none is authorized by Facebook to talk about their time there. This stack ranking system is similar to the one that was notoriously used by Microsoft before the company abandoned it in 2013, the former Facebook employees said.

Facebook declined to comment on former employees’ characterization of the work place as “cult-like.”

Inside the bubble

Former employees describe a top-down approach where major decisions are made by the company’s leadership, and employees are discouraged from voicing dissent — in direct contradiction to one of Sandberg’s mantras, “authentic self.”

For instance, at an all-hands meeting in early 2017, one employee asked Facebook Vice President David Fischer a tough question about a company program. Fischer took the question and answered, but within hours, the employee and his managers received angry calls from the team running that program, this person said.

“I never felt it was an environment that truly encouraged ‘authentic self’ and encouraged real dissent because the times I personally did it, I always got calls,” said the former manager, who left the company in early 2018.

The sentiment was echoed by another employee who left in 2017.

“What comes with scale and larger operations is you can’t afford to have too much individual voice,” said this person. “If you have an army, the larger the army is, the less individuals have voice. They have to follow the leader.”

In this employee’s two years at Facebook, his team grew from a few people to more than 50. He said “it was very much implied” to him and his teammates that they trust their leaders, follow orders and avoid having hard conversations.

The company’s culture of no-dissent prevented employees from speaking up about the impact that News Feed had on influencing the 2016 U.S. election, this person added.

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Facebook’s Anti-Christian Bias Hits Franklin Graham

Facebook’s AI censorship program tagged Franklin Graham but his large public profile forced an apology and reinstatement. How many other ‘little people’ have been banned that never come to the surface because they have no voice? As in China, Technocracy in America is blatantly anti-Christian and will increasingly be seen and felt. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Evangelist Franklin Graham on Sunday accused Facebook of personally attacking him after the company banned him from the platform for 24 hours over a post he published in 2016.

“Why are they going back to 2016,” Graham, the president of the evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said on Fox News after discussing how the social media platform moderates content on a day-to-day basis.

“I think it was just really a personal attack toward me.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP9LqwWyeGU

His comments came a day after a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Charlotte Observer that Graham had been banned from the site for 24 hours last week over the contents of a 2016 post.

The spokesperson said that Graham was mistakenly banned from the site after the post in question was flagged by its content review team for violating a company policy banning “dehumanizing language” and excluding people based on factors like sexual orientation and race.

The post had targeted Bruce Springsteen for canceling a North Carolina concert at the time due to the state’s House Bill 2, or “bathroom bill.”

“He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going ‘backwards instead of forwards,’” Graham said in reference to the singer in the post. “Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands.”

Graham’s page has since been reinstated.

“The problem with Facebook, if you disagree with their position on sexual orientation then you could be classified as hate speech, or that you’re a racist. This is a problem,” Graham said Sunday of the social media company.

“The Bible is truth and I would hope [Facebook] would look to the Bible and get some instruction from God’s word.”

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Censorship is Rising And Free Speech Is Diminishing Throughout The World

Forcing compliance requires muzzling your speech, whether its shadow-banning, censorship, label lynching or faux hate-speech. The only practitioners of censorship are autocrats and in most cases, Technocrats. This dangerous trend is producing many martyrs who pay with their very life. ⁃ TN Editor

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that criticism of Muhammad constitutes incitement to hatred — meaning that in Europe, criticizing Muhammad is no longer protected free speech.

What the court has actually done, however, is rule out the possibility of any debate in which a range of various experts and members of the public could take part. Now, it seems, the only views that will be respected in the public forum are those of devout Muslims.

Underage marriages are considered by some countries child abuse or statutory rape, but are acceptable under shari’a law; they also take place in Muslim communities in Western countries such as the UK. This alone is a major reason why platforms must be found to debate the issue instead of sweeping it, as something offensive, under the carpet. Ignoring it is offensive.

Moreover, as some Muslims are often offended by even small matters regarding their faith, such as a toy teddy bear named Mohammad or a prisoner on death row declared innocent — so that mobs take to the streets to condemn, or even kill, those individuals — what now will not be censored in the West?

There are, of course, social settings where it pays to watch your words. Saying you fancy the looks of a mafioso’s new girlfriend could well prove fatal. Spending time with a bunch of Hamas terrorists while expressing your love for Israel might not lead to your premature demise. In London today, young men who make remarks or play music to other youths on the street can wind up stabbed to death. A recent comment on The Independent website claims, “In this country [the UK], some views, regardless of how valid and logical, can result in anything from public rebuke to loss of a job to violence.”

For the most part, we learn how to avoid words or actions that may offend someone or some group, especially if it is known to be prone to violence. Yet these misfortunes are rare and we live our lives on the assumption that in democratic countries, we can speak freely within the norms of civil society. We recognize that in many countries, racist, homophobic, antisemitic, or “Islamophobic” hate speech can be reported to the police and lead to the arrest and eventual trial of the speaker. The United States’ First Amendment to its Constitution protects its citizens from prosecution for free speech, except where there is a credible threat of “Imminent lawless action.”

If angry exchanges take place, they are just a consequence of living in countries where free speech and unfettered opinion are cherished. We have seen what happens in countries where there is no free speech –as the Soviet Union or present day Pakistan (herehere and here); it often is not pretty and in much of the West is regarded as well worth the trade-off.

Particular sensitivities surround religious ideas, and histories. Nowhere is this more apparent today than in the instance of Islam, where anything untoward, especially statements that even a few people may consider blasphemous — such as young schoolchildren naming a toy teddy bear Mohammad, a common enough name in the Sudan — might be treated as criminal offences. In the West, within secular democratic states, most churches mercifully appear no longer interested in controlling matters such as blasphemy. When I lived in the Irish Republic in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Catholic Church held a tight grip on society. Books were banned, including by James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and all of Sigmund Freud. Films and plays were also banned or censored. The intolerant ban on Catholicsstudying at Trinity College Dublin perpetuated injustice. Since the 1960s, however, we now have same-sex marriage, women’s right to abortion, and an openly gay Taoiseach (Prime Minister). This year, on October 6, a majority of the Irish voted in a referendum to abolish the blasphemy law that had been in its constitution since 1937. The country has liberalized remarkably.

Ironically, while Ireland’s 2010 blasphemy law was still technically on the books (although never actually implemented ), the 57-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – consisting of 56 mostly Muslim states plus “Palestine” — cited it in 2009 during an attempt to impose an international blasphemy law on the UN. Also in 2009, the government had passed a new Irish Defamation Act that contained a full definition of the blasphemy law (the one abolished this year). This vote took place during a committee meeting for the 13th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The proposal, made on behalf of the OIC by Pakistan, used the Irish definition:

38.1 States parties shall prohibit by law the uttering of matters that are grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents to that religion.

We do not know if the principal motivation for the OIC came less from a concern about religions that Muslims might consider entirely false, abrogated and inferior, such as Judaism or Christianity, or more from a concern that no one should be allowed to criticize Islam.

In any event, Ireland finally woke up to the injustice of its blasphemy law, and the damage it was doing to its growing reputation as a country purporting to observe human rights.

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Dragonfly: Congress Hammers Google CEO On Censorship Plans In China

Congress does not understand the natural affinity between Technocrats at Google and Technocrats in China, where the object of progressive technology is social engineering. Whatever Google does in China will be done in the U.S. as well. ⁃ TN Editor

Google CEO Sundar Pichai came under fire from lawmakers on Tuesday over the company’s secretive plan to launch a censored search engine in China.

During a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee, Pichai faced sustained questions over the China plan, known as Dragonfly, which would blacklist broad categories of information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

The hearing began with an opening statement from Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who said launching a censored search engine in China would “strengthen China’s system of surveillance and repression.” McCarthy questioned whether it was the role of American companies to be “instruments of freedom or instruments of control.”

Pichai read prepared remarks, stating “even as we expand into new markets, we never forget our American roots.” He added: “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

The lawmakers questioned Pichai on a broad variety of subjects. Several Republicans on the committee complained that Google displayed too many negative stories about them in its search results, and claimed that there was “bias against conservatives” on the platform. They also asked about recent revelations of data leaks affecting millions of Google users, Android location tracking, and Google’s work to combat white supremacist content on YouTube.

It was not until Pichai began to face questions on China that he began to look at times uncomfortable.

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., told Pichai that the Dragonfly plan seemed to be “completely inconsistent” with Google’s recently launched artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not “design or deploy” technologies whose purpose “contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.”

“It’s hard to imagine you could operate in the Chinese market under the current government framework and maintain a commitment to universal values, such as freedom of expression and personal privacy,” Cicilline said.

Pichai repeatedly insisted that Dragonfly was an “internal effort” and that Google currently had “no plans to launch a search service in China.” Asked to confirm that the company would not launch “a tool for surveillance and censorship in China,” Pichai declined to answer, instead saying that he was committed to “providing users with information, and so we always — we think it’s ideal to explore possibilities. … We’ll be very thoughtful, and we will engage widely as we make progress.”

Pichai’s claim that the company does not have a plan to launch the search engine in China contradicted a leaked transcript from a private meeting inside the company. In the transcript, the company’s search chief Ben Gomes discussed an aim to roll out the service between January and April 2019. For Pichai’s statement to Congress to be truthful, there is only one possibility: that the company has put the brakes on Dragonfly since The Intercept first exposed the project in August.

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China’s Blacklists Millions From Travel Who Have Low Social Credit Scores

China aims to bankrupt ‘untrustworthy’ citizens, driving them to extinction. This is the harbinger of total Scientific Dictatorship where the ‘system’ does all the thinking and simply bans under-performers. No appeal or dissent is allowed. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Millions of Chinese nationals have been blocked from booking flights or trains as Beijing seeks to implement its controversial “social credit” system, which allows the government to closely monitor and judge each of its 1.3 billion citizens based on their behaviour and activity.

The system, to be rolled out by 2020, aims to make it “difficult to move” for those deemed “untrustworthy”, according to a detailed plan published by the government this week.

It will be used to reward or punish people and organisations for “trustworthiness” across a range of measures.

A key part of the plan not only involves blacklisting people with low social credibility scores, but also “publicly disclosing the records of enterprises and individuals’ untrustworthiness on a regular basis”.

The plan stated: “We will improve the credit blacklist system, publicly disclose the records of enterprises and individuals’ untrustworthiness on a regular basis, and form a pattern of distrust and punishment.”

For those deemed untrustworthy, “everywhere is limited, and it is difficult to move, so that those who violate the law and lose the trust will pay a heavy price”.

The credit system is already being rolled out in some areas and in recent months the Chinese state has blocked millions of people from booking flights and high-speed trains.

According to the state-run news outlet Global Times, as of May this year, the government had blocked 11.14 million people from flights and 4.25 million from taking high-speed train trips.

The state has also begun to clamp down on luxury options: 3 million people are barred from getting business class train tickets, according to Channel News Asia.

The aim, according to Hou Yunchun, former deputy director of the development research centre of the State Council, is to make “discredited people become bankrupt”, he said earlier this year.

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Leaked: Google Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search Results

Many web sites have been selectively ‘shadow-banned’ by Google for years. This means pushing certain stories off the first page of a search, onto deeper pages where most people will never look. Now some concrete evidence is surfacing. ⁃ TN Editor

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out as outlets to potentially bury, the communications reveal.

Trump’s election in 2016 shocked many Google employees, who had been counting on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win.

Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.

“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued. (RELATED: Google Search Labels Republican Women ‘Enablers’)

“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”

Some of Byer’s colleagues expressed concern that manipulating search results could backfire and suggested alternative measures.

One Google engineer, Uri Dekel, identified himself as a Clinton supporter but argued that manipulating search results was the wrong route to take.

“Thinking that Breitbart, Drudge, etc. are not ‘legitimate news sources’ is contrary to the beliefs of a major portion of our user base is partially what got us to this mess. MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated / less deplorable / closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” Dekel wrote in a reply to Byer.

“I follow a lot of right wing folks on social networks you could tell something was brewing. We laughed off Drudge’s Instant Polls and all that stuff, but in the end, people go to those sources because they believe that the media doesn’t do it’s job. I’m a Hillary supporter and let’s admit it, the media avoided dealing with the hard questions and issues, which didn’t pay off. By ranking ‘legitimacy’ you’ll just introduce more conspiracy theories,” Dekel added.

“Too many times, Breitbart is just echoing a demonstrably made up story,” Byer wrote in a reply to his original post. He did not cite any examples.

“That happens at MSNBC, too. I don’t want a political judgement. The desire is to break the myth feedback loop, the false equivalency, instead of the current amplification of it,” Byer added.

“What I believe we can do, technically, that avoids the accusations of conspiracy or bias from people who ultimately have a right and obligation to decide what they want to believe, is to get better at displaying the ‘ripples’ and copy-pasta, to trace information to its source, to link to critiques of those sources, and let people decide what sources they believe,” another Google engineer, Mike Brauwerman, suggested.

“Give people a comprehensive but effectively summarized view of the information, not context-free rage-inducing sound-bytes,” he added.

“We’re working on providing users with context around stories so that they can know the bigger picture,” chimed in David Besbris, vice president of engineering at Google.

“We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone,” he wrote.

Other employees similarly advocated providing contextual information about media sources in search results, and the company later did so with a short-lived fact check at the end of 2017.

Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong. Google’s fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.

Google pulled the faulty fact-check program in January, crediting TheDCNF’s investigation for the decision.

A Google spokeswoman said that the conversation did not lead to manipulation of search results for political purposes.

“This post shows that far from suppressing Breitbart and Daily Caller, we surfaced these sites regularly in our products. Furthermore, it shows that we value providing people with the full view on stories from a variety of sources,” the spokeswoman told The DCNF in an email.

“Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology. Our processes and policies do not allow for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies.”

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