‘Switcharoo’ Leaks: Facebook Stomped Competition While Pitching User Privacy
Bloomberg reports that leaked docs “portray company executives plotting how to convince the public they were serious about improving privacy protections even while their real goal was to snuff out competition.” ⁃ TN Editor
Facebook Inc.’s struggle to regain trust over how it handles user data got more complicated with the release of a trove of internal documents suggesting business considerations outweighed the privacy concerns the company publicly touted when it decided five years ago to cut off tens of thousands of developers from its platform.
The company’s “Switcharoo Plan,” a nickname bestowed by a Facebook employee in an email, was revealed in thousands of pages of sealed court records described Wednesday in a report by Reuters and posted online by NBC News.
The documents portray company executives plotting how to convince the public they were serious about improving privacy protections even while their real goal was to snuff out competition
The leaked records include internal Facebook emails and memos that were filed under seal in state court in California as part of a lawsuit brought by an aggrieved Silicon Valley app developer. Six4Three LLC’s app allowed users to find photos of their Facebook friends in bathing suits.
“These old documents have been taken out of context by someone with an agenda against Facebook, and have been distributed publicly with a total disregard for US law,” a Facebook representative said Wednesday.
Six4Three sued Facebook in 2015 after the social media giant cut off its access — along with that of thousands of other app developers — to Facebook user data, thereby destroying the functionality of its app.
The disclosure of the confidential documents comes as Facebook faces increased scrutiny over alleged anti-competitive behavior.
In September, congressional lawmakers probing antitrust issues in Big Tech made extensive document requests of Facebook, including executive communications on company decisions “to deny any specific app or any categories of apps access to Facebook’s APIs” as well as moves “to require that any specific app or any categories of apps purchase ads on Facebook in order to maintain access to Facebook APIs” or other user data.
The companies had produced “tens of thousands” of documents as of mid-October, according to Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is leading the probe.
Meanwhile, California went to court Wednesday to force Facebook to cooperate with an investigation into whether the company has violated its users’ privacy and state law. The company said it has ”cooperated extensively” with the state probe.
Facebook had a history of preventing rivals — even ones who weren’t real rivals yet — from using its advertising products. In 2013, Facebook restricted ads for competitive Google products, as well as WeChat, Line and Kakao, the messaging apps popular in Asia. “Those companies are trying to build social networks and replace us,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a 2013 email. “The revenue is immaterial to us compared to any risk.”
How Google’s Search Engine Determines Winners And Losers
Run by Technocrat mindset, Google practices its Science of Social Engineering at every level, putting companies in a position to live or die by search engine placement of ads and keywords. If you run afoul, Google can crush you. ⁃ TN Editor
“Where’s the best place to hide a body? The second page of a Google search.”
The gallows humor shows that people rarely look beyond the first few results of a search, but Lee Griffin isn’t laughing.
In the 13 years since he co-founded British price comparison website GoCompare, the 41-year-old has tried to keep his company at the top of search results, doing everything from using a “For Dummies” guide in the early days to later hiring a team of engineers, marketers and mathematicians. That’s put him on the front lines of a battle challenging the dominance of Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the search market — with regulators in the U.S. and across Europe taking a closer look.
Most of the sales at GoCompare, which helps customers find deals on everything from car and travel insurance to energy plans, come from Google searches, making its appearance at the top critical. With Google — whose search market share is more than 80% — frequently changing its algorithms, buying ads has become the only way to ensure a top spot on a page. Companies like GoCompare have to outbid competitors for paid spots even when customers search for their brand name.
“Google’s brought on as this thing that wanted to serve information to the world,” Griffin said in an interview from the company’s offices in Newport, Wales. “But actually what it’s doing is to show you information that people have paid it to show you.”
GoCompare is far from the only one to suffer from Google’s search dominance. John Lewis, a high-end British retailer, last month alluded to the rising cost of climbing up in Google search results. In the U.S., IAC/InterActive Corp., which owns internet services like Tinder, and ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. have signaled Google’s stranglehold on the market.
The clamor from companies has prompted the U.K. competition watchdog to study online platforms and digital advertising in July, aiming to examine the market power of companies like Google over online marketing. The European Union has been trying to rein in Google, fining the company 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) this year for thwarting advertising rivals. In the U.S. there’s a rising chorus of voices on the political left and right demanding Google be cut down to size, somehow.
The case of GoCompare shows just how difficult it is to win the search game.
GoCompare is known locally for its off-beat ads where an opera singer belts out its name in restaurants, taxis and, more controversially, crawls out of a flipped car in a recreation of an accident. When customers look for the company’s name after seeing an ad or type in a query for auto insurance, what appears is a combination of paid advertisements, Google’s own blurbs and then so-called natural search results, a list of what the tech giant deems are the most reliable sources of the information. But even ranking highly on natural search results can be costly.
“The way the algorithm works is constantly changing and you don’t get insight into it,” said Lexi Mills, chief executive officer of Shift6, a marketing consulting firm that helps clients improve their search results. “The people who get to optimize tend to be the people with the most money.”
Nowhere is Google’s power more evident — and potentially damaging to businesses — than in the market for “branded keywords.” This is where businesses buy ads based on their brand names. So GoCompare bids on the word “GoCompare” and when people search for that, Google runs an ad at the top of results usually linking to the company’s website.
Some businesses say they have to buy these ads — whatever the cost — because rivals can bid on the keywords too.
If GoCompare decides not to bid for its own brand, Google can legally sell the ad placements with its name to a competitor, with the top bidders getting the best spots on the page and taking away customers.
“That seems like an odd place to be that I have to bid on my own brand,” said Griffin. When the company confronted Google about it, the tech giant said “tell your competitors to stop bidding on you,” according to Griffin.
The Whistleblower Who Exposed Google’s Deep Conspiracy To Overthrow The U.S. Government
Zachary Vorhies discovered the pure evil intent of Google when he realized that it intended to overthrow the U.S. government. He put his career on the line to expose hundreds of internal Google documents. ⁃ TN Editor
A Google insider who anonymously leaked internal documents to Project Veritas made the decision to go public in an on-the-record video interview. The insider, Zachary Vorhies, decided to go public after receiving a letter from Google, and after he says Google allegedly called the police to perform a “wellness check” on him.
Along with the interview, Vorhies asked Project Veritas to publish more of the internal Google documents he had previously leaked. Said Vorhies:
“I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year. And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company and I realized that there were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.”
“These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a fulltime employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up. And so once I started finding one document and started finding keywords for other documents and I would enter that in and continue this cycle until I had a treasure trove and archive of documents that clearly spelled out the system, what they’re attempting to do in very clear language.”
Shortly after the report including the “algorithmic unfairness” documents was published, Vorhies received a letter from Google containing several “demands.” Vorhies told Project Veritas that he complied with Google’s demands, which included a request for any internal Google documents he may have personally retained. Vorhies also said he sent those documents to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
After having been identified by an anonymous account (which Vorhies believes belongs to a Google employee,) on social media as a “leaker,” Vorhies was approached by law enforcement at his residence in California. According to Vorhies, San Francisco police received a call from Google which prompted a “wellness check.”
Vorhies described the incident to Project Veritas:
“they got inside the gate, the police, and they started banging on my door… And so the police decided that they were going to call in additional forces. They called in the FBI, they called in the SWAT team. And they called in a bomb squad.”
“[T]his is a large way in which [Google tries to] intimidate their employees that go rogue on the company…”
Partial video of the incident was provided to Project Veritas. San Francisco police confirmed to Project Veritas that they did receive a “mental health call,” and responded to Vorhies’ address that day.
“Google Snowden moment”
Project Veritas has released hundreds of internal Google documents leaked by Vorhies. Among those documents is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. The list includes conservative and progressive websites, such as newsbusters.org and mediamatters.org. The document says that some sites are listed with or because of a “high user block rate.”
All-Out War On Free Speech Launched By United Nations
Proving the point that the assault on Free Speech is being driven by Technocracy, the United Nations has openly joined the fray in the name of Sustainable Development, Agenda 2030, New Urban Agenda, etc. ⁃ TN Editor
In January, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, tasked his Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to “present a global plan of action against hate speech and hate crimes on a fast-track basis”. Speaking at a press conference about the UN’s challenges for 2019, Guterres maintained, “The biggest challenge that governments and institutions face today is to show that we care — and to mobilize solutions that respond to people’s fears and anxieties with answers…”
One of those answers, Guterres appeared to suggest, is shutting down free speech.
“We need to enlist every segment of society in the battle for values that our world faces today – and, in particular, to tackle the rise of hate speech, xenophobia and intolerance. We hear troubling, hateful echoes of eras long past” Guterres said, “Poisonous views are penetrating political debates and polluting the mainstream. Let’s never forget the lessons of the 1930s. Hate speech and hate crimes are direct threats to human rights…”
Guterres added, “Words are not enough. We need to be effective in both asserting our universal values and in addressing the root causes of fear, mistrust, anxiety and anger. That is the key to bring people along in defence of those values that are under such grave threat today”.
In other words, forget everything about the free exchange of ideas: the UN feels that its ‘values’ are being threatened and those who criticize those values must therefore be shut down. Not only that, but — disingenuously — the UN is comparing dissent from its agendas with the rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s.
“Hate speech is…an attack on tolerance, inclusion, diversity and the very essence of our human rights norms and principles,” Guterres said. He also wrote in an article on the subject, “To those who insist on using fear to divide communities, we must say: diversity is a richness, never a threat…We must never forget, after all, that each of us is an “other” to someone, somewhere”.
According to the action plan, “Hate is moving into the mainstream – in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike. And with each broken norm, the pillars of our common humanity are weakened”. The UN sees for itself a crucial role: “As a matter of principle, the United Nations must confront hate speech at every turn. Silence can signal indifference to bigotry and intolerance…”.
Naturally, the UN assures everyone that, “Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law”.
Except the UN most definitely seeks to limit freedom of speech, especially the kind that challenges the UN’s agendas. This was evident with regard to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in which it was explicitly statedthat public funding to “media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants” should be stopped.
In contrast to the UN Global Migration compact, the UN’s action plan against hate speech does contain a definition of what the UN considers to be “hate” and it happens to be the broadest and vaguest of definitions possible:
“Any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor”. With a definition as broad as this, all speech could be labelled “hate”.
The action plan, “aims to give to the United Nations the room and the resources to address hate speech, which poses a threat to United Nations principles, values and programmes. Measures taken will be in line with international human rights norms and standards, in particular the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The objectives are twofold: Enhance UN efforts to address root causes and drivers of hate speech [and] enable effective UN responses to the impact of hate speech on societies”.
The UN makes it clear in the plan that it “will implement actions at global and country level, as well as enhance internal cooperation among relevant UN entities” to fight hate speech. It considers that “Tackling hate speech is the responsibility of all – governments, societies, the private sector” and it envisages “a new generation of digital citizens, empowered to recognize, reject and stand up to hate speech”. What a brave new world.
Wozniak: Apple Cofounder Says ‘Delete Your Facebook Account!’
Big Tech pioneer Steve Wozniak understands the industry like few others and he is pointedly warning about the loss of privacy, recommending in particular that people get off of Facebook. ⁃ TN Editor
Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak deleted his Facebook account last year and is now telling anyone willing to listen to do the same before it’s too late.
TMZ interviewed Wozniak at Reagan National Airport in D.C. last Friday and asked him if he’s troubled by Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms infringing on his privacy. Woz responded by saying social platforms are eavesdropping on our private conversations, and sending personal data to advertisers. With the lack of privacy on social media, he said, most people should delete their accounts.
“There are many different kinds of people, and some the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Woz told TMZ.
“But to many like myself, my recommendation is—to most people—you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”
Woz suggested, that at this point, there’s no way to stop the invasion of privacy by Big Tech.
“But, everything about you… I mean, they can measure your heartbeat with lasers now, they can listen to you with a lot of devices. Who knows if my cellphone’s listening right now.Alexa has already been in the news a lot,” he told TMZ.
So I worry because you’re having conversations that you think are private… You’re saying words that really shouldn’t be listened to, because you don’t expect it. But there’s almost no way to stop it,” Woz said.
Woz’s solution: allow social media companies to give users a choice of premium subscription plans, one where they pay to have their data more secure.
“People think they have a level of privacy they don’t. Why don’t they give me a choice? Let me pay a certain amount, and you’ll keep my data more secure and private then everybody else handing it to advertisers.”
In an email response last April, Woz told USA Today that Facebook makes a lot of advertising money from personal information voluntarily shared with the company.
Woz said he’d rather pay for Facebook – adding that Apple “makes money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you’re the product.”
What is far more fascinating to us is that it took years for brilliant people such as Wozniak to grasp what was obvious to most others, even if those “others” are what the dormant, quiet and largely daft majority, would call “conspiracy theorists.”
Boom: Google Crushes Traffic To Mercola.com By 99%
Sir Francis Bacon first said in 1597, “Knowledge is power”, which has since become Google’s unspoken credo. By controlling what gets to your eyes, ears and mind, Google can control you and everyone else.
Mercola.com is the #1 alternative and health-related site in the world, with a global rank of 6,335 of most traffic sites, receiving over 13 million visits per month. 48% of this traffic is from organic searches from engines like Google. However, Mercola has also been banned from Pinterest and shadow-banned by other social media. ⁃ TN Editor
Over the years, the government and business monopolies, including the likes of Big Tech, have formed a global alliance hell-bent on protecting and concentrating member profits. The price for keeping business going as usual is personal liberty and freedom of speech that may impact these fascist government-industrial complexes.
The major industries colluding to take over the government and government agencies include banking, military, agriculture, pharma, media and Big Tech.
The leaders of these industries have organized strategies to buy off politicians through lobbying and to capture regulatory agencies through revolving door hiring strategies and paid-for media influence through advertising dollars.
Big Tech has joined the movement, bringing in a global concentration of wealth to eliminate competition and critical voices — voices that bring awareness to the frightening future as our rights, freedoms and competition erode into a fascist sunset, all disguised as a means to protect you from “misinformation.”
This year, we’ve seen an unprecedented push to implement censorship across all online platforms, making it increasingly difficult to obtain and share crucial information about health topics. If you’ve been having difficulty finding articles from my website in your Google searchers of late, you’re not alone.
Google traffic to Mercola.com has plummeted by about 99% over the past few weeks. The reason? Google’s June 2019 broad core update, which took effect June 3,1 removed most Mercola.com pages from its search results. As reported by Telaposts.com:2
“The June 2019 Google Broad Core Algorithm Update impacted the rankings of websites in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages. Several aspects of the algorithm were changed which caused some sites to gain visibility and others to lose visibility.
Generally speaking, sites negatively impacted will see a drop in rankings for many or all of important keywords or key phrases which they used to rank well for … The June 2019 Google Broad Core Algorithm Update impacted sites across the web, however, I am personally seeing the most impact on News and Health sites.”
Mercola.com targeted in Google’s latest core algorithm update
Now, any time you enter a health-related search word into Google, such as “heart disease” or “Type 2 diabetes,” you will not find Mercola.com articles in the search results. The only way to locate any of my articles at this point is by searching for “Mercola.com heart disease,” or “Mercola.com Type 2 diabetes.”
Even skipping the “.com” will minimize your search results, and oftentimes the only pages you’ll get are blogs, not my full peer-reviewed articles. Negative press by skeptics has also been upgraded, which means if you simply type in my name none of my articles will come but what you will find are a deluge of negative articles voicing critiques against me in your searches. Try entering my name in Yahoo or Bing and you will see completely different results.
As explained by Telapost,3 a core update “is when Google makes several changes to their main (core) algorithm.” In the past, Google search results were based on crowdsource relevance. An article would ascend in rank based on the number of people who clicked on it.
Traditionally, if you produced unique and high-quality content that matched what people were looking for, you were rewarded by ranking in the top of search results. You would find Mercola.com near the top of nearly any health search results.
So, let’s say one of my articles on diabetes was seventh on the page for your search; if more people clicked on that link than, say, an article listed in third or fifth place, my article would move up in rank. In a nutshell, Google search results were, at least in part, based on popularity.
That’s no longer the case. Instead, Google is now manually lowering the ranking of undesirable content, largely based on Wikipedia’s assessment of the author or site.
Wikipedia’s founder and anonymous editors are well-known to have extreme bias against natural health content and authors. Google also contributes heavily to funding Wikipedia, and Wikipedia is near the top of nearly all searches — despite the anonymous aspect of contributors. Who better to trust than a bunch of unknown, unqualified contributors?
Wikipedia’s co-founder even admits these bad actors have made it a “broken system.”4 Why would Google give such credibility to a platform that even its own founder says is broken and overrun with bad actors?
Another major change was Google’s 2019 quality rater guidelines,5,6 released May 16. What are these guidelines? As explained by Telapost:7
“Google hires ‘quality raters,’ people who visit websites and evaluate their quality. Their feedback doesn’t directly impact your site; it goes to engineers who update the Google algorithm in an effort to display great websites to their users. The guidelines give us great insight as to what Google considers a quality web page.”
One significant change: Google now buries expert views if they’re deemed “harmful” to the public. As explained by The SEM post:8
“There has been a lot of talk about author expertise when it comes to the quality rater guidelines … This section has been changed substantially … [I]f the purpose of the page is harmful, then expertise doesn’t matter. It should be rated Lowest!”
Google used to rank pages based on whether an author could prove their expertise based on how many people visited a page or the number of other reputable sites that linked to that page. No more.
As you may have noticed, we’ve stayed on top of this, even creating a peer review panel of medical and scientific experts that review, edit and approve most articles before they’re published. This is in addition to my own medical expertise as a board-certified physician.
My articles are also fully referenced, most containing dozens of references to studies published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Alas, none of this now matters, as the very fact that the information I present typically contradicts industry propaganda places me in the lowest possible rating category.
Bait and switch
Different perspectives are essential to a healthy debate of ideas. When our voices are censored humanity loses and fascism wins. Pinterest has banned me, Google has mostly erased my information and many others are experiencing this same censorship. What makes me so dangerous to these industries that they need to censor me from those looking for my information?
Google had the brilliant idea of utilizing crowd sourcing, providing the best answers to your questions by pushing the most frequently selected content to the top of the search results — a truly democratic system to reward people for sharing information, and helping you locate this information by essentially sharing the most popular, highest quality content.
My information was frequently at the top of many health searches, because many people like you found it to be the most valuable. But as Google’s power grew to enormous proportions, the goal of providing this service to you changed. The goal now is to become even more powerful by uniting with other powerful industries and government to force their beliefs on the masses and manipulate the future itself.
Crowd sourcing has become crowd control. Google began by giving you everything you want so it can now take everything you have. Google has changed from looking at users as customers and giving them what they want, to making users custodians of their will — essentially making you a host of a virus to carry out their agenda.
Google has become the ultimate puppet master, infecting people and manipulating them without even knowing it. Their true goal is to be in complete control of all of us, directing our behavior — and should we rebel, they also have partnered with the military to create drones utilizing artificial intelligence to ensure resistance will be defeated.
Raging Against The Algorithm: Google And Persuasive Technology
Google dominates because it panders to human weaknesses, not strengths. Is the problem then simply systemic, accidental or predestined, or is it specifically designed and directed by humans who have lost their moral and ethical compass?
As you listen to the video by Tristan Harris, you must ask the question, can technocrats solve the problem that technocrats created in the first place? Put another way, is more technology the answer to overcoming current technology?⁃ TN Editor
Monsters and titans share the stage of mythology across cultures as the necessary realisations of the human imagination. From stone cave to urban dwelling, the theme is unremitting; kept in the imagination, such creatures perform, innocently enough, benign functions. The catch here is the human tendency to realise such creatures. They take the form of social engineering and utopia. Folly bound, such projects and ventures wind up corrupting and degrading. The monster is born, and the awful truth comes to the fore: the concentration camp, the surveillance state, newspeak, the armies of censorship.
The technology giants of the current era are the modern utopians, indulging human hunger and interests by shaping them. One company gives us the archetype. It is Google, which has the unusual distinction of being both noun and verb, entity and action. Google’s power is disproportionately vast, a creepy sprawl that cherishes transparency while lacking it, and treasuring information while regulating its reach. It is also an entity that has gone beyond being a mere repository of searches and data, an attempt to induce behavioural change on the part of users.
Google always gives the impression that its users are in the lead, autonomous, independent in a verdant land of digital frolicking. The idea that the company itself fosters such change, teasing out alterations in behaviour, is placed to one side. There are no Svengalis in Googleland, because we are all free. Free, but needing assistance amidst chaos and “multitasking”.
People have what the company calls “micro-moments”, those, as behavioural economist Dan Ariely describes as “on-the-go mobile moments” where decisions are reached by a user while engaged, simultaneously, in a range of tasks: hotels to book, travel choices to make, work schedules to fulfil. While Ariely is writing more broadly from the perspective of the ubiquitous digital marketer, the language is pure Googleleese, smacking of part persuasion and part imposition. “Want to develop a strategy to shape your consumer decisions?” asks Google. “Start by understanding the key micro-moments in their journey.” Understand them; feed their mind; hold their hand.
The addiction to Google produces what can no longer be seen as retarding, but fostering. A generation is growing up without a hard copy research library, a ready-to-hand list of classics, and the means to search through records without resorting to those damnable digital keys. Debates are bound to be had (some already pollute the digital space) about whether this is necessarily a condition to lament. Embrace digital amnesia! To Google is to exist.
What is undeniable is that the means to find information – instantaneous, glut-filled, desperately quick – has created users who inhabit a space that guides their thinking, pre-empting, cajoling and adjusting. One form of literacy, we might kindly say, is being supplanted by another: the Google imbecile is upon us.
Given the nature of such effects, it is little wonder that politicians find Google threatening to their mouldy and rusted on craft. The politician’s preserve is sound – or unsound – communication; success at the next election is dependent upon the idea that the electors understand, and approve, what has been relayed to them (whether that material is factual, or not, a lie or otherwise, is beside the point: the politician yearns to convince in order to win).
The old search engine titan supplies something of a snag in this regard. On the one hand, it offers the political classes the means to reach a global audience, an avenue to screech and promote the next hair-brained scheme that comes into the mind of the political apparat. But what if the message stymies on the way, finding delays in the means of what is called “search engine optimisation”? Is Google to blame, or bog standard ordinariness on the part of the politician?
US politicians think they have an answer. Only they are permitted control of the narrative, and disseminating the lie. Of late they have been trying to sketch out a path they are not used to: regulating industries once hailed as sentinels of freedom, promoters of liberty. Their complaints tend to lack consistency. On the one hand, they find various Google algorithms problematic (preference for alt-right sites, conspiratorial gruel as damaging), but their slant is wonky and skewed. Had these algorithms been driving favourable search terms (conformist, steady, unquestioning, anti-Trump), the matter would be a non-starter. Our message, they would say, is getting out there.
This week, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation tried to make sense, in rather accusing fashion, of “persuasive technology”. Nanette Byrnes furnishes us with a definition: “the idea that computers, mobile phones, websites, and other technologies could be designed to influence people’s behaviour and even attitudes”. The Pope does remain resolutely Catholic.
The committee hearing featured such opinions as those of Senator John Thune (R-SD), who wished to use the proceedings to draft legislation that would “require internet platforms to give consumers the option to engage with the platform without having the experience shaped by algorithms.” The Senator is happy to accept that artificial intelligence “powers automations to display content to optimize engagement” but sees a devil in the works, as “AI algorithms can have an unintended and possibly even dangerous downside”. This is tantamount to wanting a Formula One Grand Prix without fast cars and an athletics competition in slow motion.
Facing the senators from Google’s side was Maggie Stanphill, director of Google User Experience. Her testimony was couched in words more akin to the glossiness of a travel brochure with a complimentary sprinkling of cocaine. “Google’s Digital Wellbeing Initiative is a top company goal, focusing on providing our users with insights about their digital habits and tools to support an intentional relationship with technology.” Google merely “creates products that improve the lives of the people who use them.” The company has provided access that has “democratized information and provided services for billions of people around the world.” When asked about whether Google was doing its bit in the persuasion business, Stanphill was unequivocal. “We do not use persuasive technology.”
The session’s theme was clear: oodles and masses of content are good, but must be appropriate. In Information Utopia, where digital Adam and Eve still run naked, wickedness will not be allowed. If people want to seek content that is “negative” (this horrendous arbitrary nature keeps appearing), they should not be allowed do. Gag them, and make sure the popular terms sought are white washed of any offensive or dangerous import. Impose upon the tech titans a responsibility to control the negative.
Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) complained of those companies “letting these algorithms run wild […] leaving humans to clean up the mess. Algorithms are amoral.” Tristan Harris, co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Humane Technology, spoke of the competition between companies to use algorithms which “more accurately predict what will keep users there the longest.” If you want to maximise the time spent searching terms or, in the case of YouTube, watching a video, focus “the entire ant colony of humanity towards crazytown.” For Harris, “technology hacks human weaknesses.” The moral? Do not give people what they want.
The rage against the algorithm, and the belief that no behavioural pushing is taking place in search technology, is misplaced on a few fronts. On a certain level, all accept how such modes of retrieving information work. Disagreement arises as to their consequences, a concession, effectively, to the Google user as imbecile. Stanphill is being disingenuous for assuming that persuasive technology is not a function of Google’s work (it patently is, given the company’s intention of improving the “intentional relationship with technology”). In her testimony, she spoke of building “products with privacy, transparency and control for the users, and we build a lifelong relationship with the user, which is primary.” The Senators, in turn, are concerned that the users, diapered by encouragements in their search interests, are incapable of making their own fragile minds up.
The nature of managed information in the digital experience is not, as Google, YouTube and like companies show, a case of broadening knowledge but reaffirming existing assumptions. The echo chamber bristles with confirmations not challenges, with the comforts of prejudice rather than the discomforts of heavy-artillery learning. But the elected citizens on the Hill, and the cyber utopians, continue to struggle and flounder in the digital jungle they had seen as an information utopia equal to all. For the Big Tech giants, it’s all rather simple: the attention grabbing spectacle, bums on seats, and downloads galore.
Leftists Hound Mastercard To Put Conservatives ‘Out Of Business’
Anti-conservative forces of many different stripes are waging asymmetric warfare against all conservative elements of society to completely silence them. Mastercard has already crippled several conservative groups by withdrawing their ability to receive donations. ⁃ TN Editor
On Tuesday, leftist activists targeted Mastercard’s shareholder meeting, demanding the Board of Directors adopt a “human rights committee” dedicated to blacklisting organizations unfairly accused of being “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Activists with the group SumOfUs pestered the board with spurious questions about “doing business with criminals” in pursuit of its “blood money” campaign.
Nandini Jammi, a representative of the leftist group SumOfUs, demanded the shareholders and board members support proposal five, “which asks the board of directors to create a human rights committee at the board level. At least 2,300 people have written to their pensions and mutual funds in support of this proposal, and 127,000 people have signed a petition calling on Mastercard to stop processing payments for far-right hate groups.”
“I’m here to inform you that you have lost control of your financial network. Thanks to your financial partners, you are open for business with criminals,” Jammi declared.
“Charlottesville. Pittsburgh. New Zealand. There have been deadly consequences more than once. The white nationalist movement has gone global and it’s time for you to investigate who has been let into Mastercard’s network,” the leftist argued.
While Jammi did mention one legitimate concern — Mastercard allegedly processing accounts for a Neo-Nazi group in Germany, where Neo-Nazi organizations are illegal — her activism clearly aims at getting all the so-called conservative “hate groups” cut off from bank transactions.
The activist also parked a van outside the Mastercard shareholders’ meeting, plastered with the message, “Putting hate groups out of business? Priceless.” SumOfUs tweeted the image with the hashtag “NoMoreBloodmoney,” a reference to their “blood money” campaign.
That campaign pressures U.S. financial companies to blacklist various “hate groups,” heavily relying on the discredited accusations of the SPLC. The SPLC targeted the Ku Klux Klan and featured its battles with the KKK in fundraising literature. Eventually, it expanded this fundraising ploy by monitoring “hate groups.” The ever-expanding “hate group” accusation “is a financial and repetitional death sentence, effectively equating organizations to the KKK,” Meghan Meier, a lawyer who defended a victim of the SPLC’s “hate” accusations, told PJ Media.
“No right-thinking person wants to be associated with the KKK, so the SPLC’s ‘hate group’ accusation is incredibly effective at shaming organizations and causing them to be shunned by donors, fundraising platforms, service providers, the media, and others. Shaming and shunning are hallmarks of what makes a statement ‘defamatory’ under the common law,” she said, suggesting the accusations make the SPLC vulnerable to defamation lawsuits.
Yet the “hate group” accusations also suffer from more serious revelations. This March, the SPLC was roiled with a racism and sexism scandal, and amid the scandal, former employees admitted that the “hate group” accusations were an elaborate fundraising scheme.
Mastercard, in particular, seems to have been responsible for Patreon booting Jihad Watch and its founder Robert Spencer (not to be confused with the white nationalist Richard Spencer) off its platform. Jihad Watch monitors radical Islam and radical Islamic terror. These actions are far from illegal or “hateful.”
Similarly, ACT for America and the Center for Security Policy promote America’s national security. Many conservative Christian organizations on the SPLC’s “anti-LGBT hate group” list follow the Bible’s definition of marriage and reject gender identity.
Big Tech Revenge: Project Veritas Banned Over Expose Of Google
After releasing a damning expose of Google’s dark agenda of social engineering and censorship, all of Big Tech are extracting blatant revenge on Project Veritas, including Google, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo and Reddit.
The battle is heating up and it is going to get really ugly before it’s over. Many lawsuits have already been lodged against such companies and legislators at all levels are examining what is going on.
What few recognize yet is that these self-proclaimed Big Tech social engineering saviors of the world are TECHNOCRATS. ⁃ TN Editor
Investigative journalism group Project Veritas has dropped multiple major stories this month on Big tech — here are 5 times Big Tech tried to censor them as a result.
Recently, investigative journalism group Project Veritas has published multiple stories that have hit Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google hard, revealing the company’s lack of respect for Congress and attempts to censor conservative opinions. As a result, Project Veritas has faced multiple attempts at censoring their stories off the Internet. Following a tweet from Project Veritas, Breitbart News has compiled a list of the various ways that Project Veritas has been censored in just the month of June alone.
1: YouTube Bans Videos About Veritas Investigation Into Pinterest
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe said in a statement: “The established media and technology are so afraid of investigative journalism they need to censor it. YouTube calls REPORTING on someone by showing their face and name, and how they added a pro-life group to a porn blacklist, a ‘privacy complaint.’ Would they do this to NYT?”
2: Twitter Suspends Project Veritas Account Over Pinterest Story
Twitter also didn’t seem to take kindly to Project Veritas revealing information leaked to them by an insider at Pinterest. Following the posting of the Pinterest story to Twitter, Project Veritas saw its account temporarily suspended from the platform.
This took place shortly after the removal of the Pinterest story from YouTube, adding further credence to claims that tech firms are colluding to shut down conservatives on their platforms.
3: Reddit Bans Project Veritas
Social media site and self-proclaimed “Front page of the Internet,” Reddit also recently banned Project Veritas’ account after the organization tried to post a link to their Google insider story.
A few days later, Reddit “quarantined” the Trump-supporting subreddit The_Donald which had over 750,000 subscribers at the time of its quarantining. Users attempting to visit the subreddit are met with a warning page, deterring them from accessing the community. Reddit described its reasoning for censoring the subreddit stating:
There will sometimes be communities that, while not prohibited, average redditors may nevertheless find highly offensive or upsetting. In other cases, communities may be dedicated to promoting hoaxes (yes we used that word) that warrant additional scrutiny, as there are some things that are either verifiable or falsifiable and not seriously up for debate (eg, the Holocaust did happen and the number of people who died is well documented). In these circumstances, Reddit Administrators may apply a quarantine.
4: YouTube Bans Video of Undercover Google Investigation
Some commenters found it unsurprising that Google-owned video hosting platform YouTube would take action to censor the most recent Google investigation by Project Veritas as it could prove very damaging to the company going forward. In the video, Google executive Jen Gennai made multiple damaging comments about the company to undercover Project Veritas investigators.
5: Vimeo Follows YouTube’s Lead, Removes Video
And shortly after YouTube’s removal of the video, another hosting platform called Vimeo removed the same video. Vimeo stated that the video was not allowed on its platform as: “You cannot upload videos that are hateful, defamatory, or discriminatory.”
Google has now flatly stated its intent to influence and control public perception so as to manipulate and determine national political election outcomes. It does this by using AI algorithms to skew search results, presenting only their political views, and suppressing dissenting or alternative views.
However, this is not a free speech issue. Google is not a news organization. It does not hire journalists nor does it create original content. Rather, Google is an information utility that simply indexes existing and new journalistic content.
Google’s all-powerful and pervasive Internet crawler is able to discover virtually 100% of everything published in the world, on an hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute basis. In other words, Google knows everything there is to know. The question is, will it tell all that it knows or only part of it?
Google is very much a public utility that resembles a telephone company. When your local telephone company publishes a phone book, it simply indexes people by last name and puts their number next to it. It is easy for one person to find another and then pick up the phone and make a call.
What would happen if the phone company started making decisions about who could have a listing in their master directory? What if they simply dropped out people who were discovered to be Republicans or Democrats? What if they deleted people because they had a certain skin color? Or national origin? Or religion?
While on one hand, the phone company was willing to connect and charge for service in everybody’s home, those suppressed individuals would only be able to make outbound calls and they would seldom receive any inbound calls.
Would America ever tolerate this? Of course not. In fact, it would spark a national uproar of epic proportions.
So, can anyone explain why Google is getting a free pass on hiding the particulars of its indexing algorithms from public consumers of information?
It would be bad enough if Google simply dropped out certain pieces of information, but they have gone way beyond this by rearranging the results it chooses to release and presenting them in such a manner to show an alternate reality that purposely misleads the public.
This is what is called “weaponizing data” to actively and intentionally lead people to false conclusions in order to modify their behavior. To say this is wrong is an understatement. To say it is illegal is complicated, but it is certainly possible.
Has Google unleashed Project Dragonfly?
On August 1, 2018, the left-leaning journal called The Intercept originally broke the story that Google was creating a censored version of its search engine for China. The secret project was named Dragonfly.
The U.K. journalist, Ryan Gallagher, created an international uproar with the first report, but has since written 23 additional investigative articles that fully expose Google’s activities in China.
Documents seen by The Intercept, marked “Google confidential,” say that Google’s Chinese search app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by the Great Firewall. When a person carries out a search, banned websites will be removed from the first page of results… The search app will also “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, the documents state. The censorship will apply across the platform: Google’s image search, automatic spell check and suggested search features will incorporate the blacklists, meaning that they will not recommend people information or photographs the government has banned.
This is exactly what Google is now doing to the United States, except that it is acting on its own accord and not under the orders of a national government.
Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, a member of the elitist Trilateral Commission, was recently interviewed by BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and stated,
“The world is a very interconnected place. There are many, many benefits interacting, among other things, with China… I believed they would be better to stay in China, and help change China to be more open.”
Apparently, what is good for China’s censorship is good for the U.S. as well.
Will The Intercept call out Google for doing to the U.S. what it intended to do for China? Will the American public be as outraged over domestic censorship as they were about the possibility of China’s censorship?
Google’s clear agenda
When Google’s Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai stated,
Again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again?
What does Google want to prevent from happening again? According to Gennai, it is “preventing the next Trump situation.”
Social justice warriors like Gennai have obviously discovered the power of Google’s Internet machine to practice social engineering according to their exclusive world view, while excluding all other views.
While some lawmakers are already investigating anti-trust measures against Google, they might be missing the more pertinent issue: Sedition.
Sedition is a serious felony punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison and it refers to the act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it.
Whether they realize it or not, Google is deep into the process of meddling with the election process to create insurrection in order to cause the overthrow of our lawful national government established according to the U.S. Constitution. In short, it is the citizens of our nation who decide national, state and local leadership and not Google!
Virtually every public servant in the United States is required to take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. It’s time to hold some feet to the fire.