Google Censorship

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Google Censorship.jpg
Google Censorship.jpg
How do you spell collusion? Google
This is the mysterious opacity with which Google operates, they don't fully document the rules nor document how people didn't comply with the rules. They operate like a secret police: you know your relatives have been disappeared, but not what to do about it, and they feel no need to justify their action to the proles, and if you complain too loud, you might be disappeared as well. Why would anyone resent that? Examples include:
  • Statistics professor Salil Mehta (adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science, and wrote a best-selling statistics book), was banned by Google for no known reason other than, "You violated the Terms of use", but we won't tell you why/where/how. Then after an article in Zero Hedge explaining his side of the story, and poof: restored. Again, no idea why, and no response from Google. [1]
  • They banned what they consider Neo-Nazi sites like Daily Stormer. I think those sites are detestable, but I'd rather them in clear sight than working in the dark where I can't see them. And Google's hypocrisy about banishing White Separatists while tolerating Black (BLM, Nation of Islam, Black Panthers), Latino (La Raza, etc), or anti-semitic (BDS, PLO, Hamas, etc), is dangerously hypocritical and inconsistent. [2]
  • Even their Advertising is biased. They did things like rejected Christian publisher for too religious of ads. [3]. They got caught trying to demonetize Breitbart News from its AdSense platform when Google ad account manager Aidan Wilks was advising another company that advertising on Breitbart may impact their “brand safety.” (how it gets shown). [4] I'm sorry, I thought you were an ad platform, not a paid for advocacy group that suppresses freedom of expression/religion, or attack conservative websites. If it was an anti-semitic pro-palestine (BDS), or pro-Islam piece, or Marxist propaganda, they would have no problem with it.
  • For the first 8 years, Google App Store has virtually no controls on anything, anything goes... unless you support smoking cigarettes or guns. Sergey Brin doesn't like those, so there was a block on Apps that add value in either of those legal areas, but plenty of illegal activities including drugs or smoking pot, prostitution, hooking up, communications or asset transfers which helped criminal enterprises, and so on -- those were helped by Applications that weren't things Sergey cared about. This doesn't make Google good or bad, but it shatters the illusion that they're anything other than a billionaire's plaything: if you're a hard working American in an industry/sector that Google Management doesn't like, they'll screw you over. And if you're a pedophile or human trafficker, they might help you (as long as there's no liability back to them). That's what "Do no Evil" means to them.
  • Google is working on things like "Jigsaw", which is way to auto-censor/filter out "toxicity" that they don't like, under the false flag of making us safer (from ideas we don't like). But even left of center folks recognize that the rules being applied equally might not play out well for them (in the face of things like their side's "racism", "impeachment", or "Hitler" Tourettes). [5]. Or Filter Bubbles, where they try to pool up like minded thinkers and filter out things that offend/stretch them and make them grow/mature as humans. [6]
  • Google isn't quite as aggressive with FakeNews management as Facebook is, but they're trying both in filtering their searches and creating their own curated News for Android, not based on intelligence but on artificial intelligence and consensus. It's an impossible task: try to explain satire to a computer algorithm, or to a politically correct snowflake or SJW. Combine that with herd think and filter bubbles, and you're not filtering on FakeNews you're creating doublethink truthspeaking cult that Orwell warned us about. [7]

Conclusion

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Companies have a right to enforce their terms of use, but they don't have a right to sell us on one thing (protectors of free speech and communication), then act another way. If they want to create clear policies, and live up to them, and show violations and warning paths before banning, fine. Shine the light on the dark corners of their secret policing. But as long as they have a masked hit squad, only tormenting their political foes, with no transparency or oversight, then I have more a problem with it.

Yes, they gave us services like "Free Email" in exchange for them getting to snoop our behaviors and sell those analytics or ads -- but the consumers invested time and money. And you don't get to destroy that value because of some clause in a term that they had no idea they were violating and no idea how to correct. When you think about how many people's lives are impacted by stuff like this, some have their entire livelihoods based on it, these are pretty dramatic disruptions.

When Google said, "Don't do evil", it helps to remember that making people (or their work product/livelihood) disappear, without explaining to them or anyone else why, no appeals, just ruination because some bureaucratic fascist (real or Digital script) deemed they were no longer worthy of existence, that's very progressive. And exactly what evil looks like.

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📚 References