Google and the power to distort

An example of Google Autocomplete objectivity

Some religions are more equal than others

Talk about distortion.

Let’s say you are looking for information about the following topic: violence against Jews.
I just discovered that even the autocomplete function on Google is biased…

After you type violence against it suggests women with a few variants (ok, feminism and stuff, par for the course). Adding the letter J the suggestion turns to journalists. Typing the E brings us the surprising bit jehova witnesses …you see, it’s a major crisis, with all those attacks on Jehova Witnesses you hear about every day… (?)

Finally, adding W causes Google to stop suggesting anything at all… evidently violence against jews is unheard of! Those Jews, never on the receiving end!


Sounds like some precious flower is preserved from facing a different perspective on events…

This was just an accidental discovery on my part. But then I did a few more tests.
Violence against Muslims appears as soon as you type the letter M (together with other results), then from the letter U onward it’s the only suggested query, and in 5 variants.
Seems to be a topic that received Google’s stamp of approval.

Instead Violence against Christians never ever appears… at C they suggest children, cats, chinese in vietnam and civil rights activists… when you type H suggestions are suppressed… (children reappears if you put down both I and L)…

Does someone entertain some doubts about human decisions cutting and pruning where deemed fit, in a search service that is trusted to be automatic and consequently reliably neutral?

 

Another example from 3 months ago: censoring pro-lifers

Controlling the ideological bent of American Universities (where thought censorship and absolute conformism are prevailing) means controlling the newest generations, as well as culture and information. In the long run, this form of control is way more decisive than gaining a majority in a Parliament.

The new media powerhouses like Facebook and Google concentrate in a dynamic and seemingly hip and enlightened environment some of the most brilliant young minds, that reach such elite positions coming directly from those very same universities. They are transferred from a bubble to a different bubble, again filled with their peers, never having experienced facing a different worldview. The air inside is inevitably stale, the well known smorgasbord of politically correct ideas is guaranteed to prevail.

Google for instance positioned The Huffington Post among top search results even on occasions where this renown notorious leftist magazine had nothing to offer on a certain topic but a measly cut-and-paste scraping page (i.e. taking advantage of someone else’s work). That positioning translated into a gracious gift of eyeballs -and consequently money. For the practice of scraping alone, other websites, maybe just not positioned on the correct side of issues, could lose ranking and essentially get torpedoed into red ink territory.

Now we are even beyond that: now censorship is defined as a moral good, provided that you censor unpalatable ideas about defending human life.

Google and Yahoo censor pro-life ads

In practice both Google and Yahoo rejected some ads (which means they renounced making some profit!) paid for by anti-abortion organizations, because women seeking abortion info and counsel could end up clicking on them and risk being presented with a different option about their pregnancy.

You see, this technically isn’t even censorship: those companies are not representing some formal authority, imposing a set of rules on the public opinion. So you cannot even complain!
They simply happen to be in control, de facto, of how millions of people gather information; they are hence free to steer their users in the ideological direction they prefer.

The idea of fairness behind such decisions: it’s cruel to try and dissuade a woman who’s thinking about aborting her baby! You make her feel guilty!
On the contrary, if a woman using those search engines is looking for information about how to bring a pregnancy to term and then give the baby up for adoption, presto! There comes some Planned Parenthood ad, suggesting to get an abortion instead.

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