Googlegate: The Trouble of Electoral Ethics and Hyper-partisan Hypocrisy

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Jen Gennai, the Head of Responsible Innovation at Google, has announced that they [Google] view it as their responsibility to “prevent the next Trump situation”.

This information came out following an undercover interview by Project Veritas, a source known for many controversial exposés, some of which have been claimed to contain political slant or have been framed in a disingenuous manner in the past.

It is not my place to hold James O’Keefe’s feet to the fire over what he has gotten right and wrong over the years, however. I leave that task to the many who have tried, and those who have failed and have been forced to print retractions.

I bring this up only because the frankly damning evidence that we do have does not require overtly negative framing, or any other disingenuous behavior to make it stick.

In the video, Gennai makes reference to the concept of “fairness” which she claims does not represent what “the people who voted for our current president” think of as fairness. She then goes on to explain that she cares about fighting for “historically marginalized communities”.

One ponders what exactly she thinks of the members of those communities who voted for the current President, exactly. One also wonders how Google can believe it is ethical for them to meddle in elections, while they consider sources that pushed a narrative of Russian collusion for two years to be authoritative, despite no evidence being presented by those sources that supports that conclusion, but I digress.

What we have now borne witness to, is an admission that Google is directly meddling with the information queried by users of its services in order to suppress certain viewpoints, questions, ideas, and speakers, particularly in the interest of affecting election results. The video I linked to above is, in fact, hosted on BitChute, as YouTube, Pintrest, and several other sites have blocked or removed any videos talking about this issue that they can find, or else banned the accounts sharing it.

Gennai has since made a statement claiming she used “imprecise language in a conversation in public”, but one can hardly look at that excuse as reasonable. Even in the most positive of lights, she has presented Google as the arbiter of preventing a situation such as the 2016 election cycle from occurring again, and directly states that any attempts to prevent this, regardless of who is behind them, are “misinformed”.

What one comes to understand from this is that Gennai views her interpretation of fairness as morally correct, despite knowing that a majority of people who, if given a view of news that was not curated by the algorithms that she and Google’s Trust and Safety team have been designing, would not agree with her interpretations.

This can only be viewed as an undemocratic suppression of reality in the name of “fairness”, which is to say that it is an attempt to suppress the views of some to draw attention instead to the views of other, minority groups whom the Trust and Safety team views as deserving of this attention.

Gaurav Gite, an engineer for Google discusses ML fairness, or “Machine Learning fairness”, the means of which this system of “fairness” is enforced upon the results queried by Google. That is to say, Google is attempting to train algorithms to derank and censor the views of those who it views as unfair, even if they are objectively accurate. Examples can be seen here of a document shared via E-mail, allegedly brought forward by Google staff, which outline how this process works:

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I would like to state that, for the record, I do not write this article because I am concerned about the next election. I am writing this article because I am concerned about the election after that, the election after that one, and on into the perpetual future if censorship like this is allowed to continue unchallenged.

There was a time when Google’s operating motto was “Do no evil”. A few years back, this was changed to the rather arbitrary “Do good.” What I feel people fail to recognize is that taking positive stances as opposed to negative ones involve asserting your will upon others, and that to “Do good”, one must define what “good” is, and that is a fundamentally subjective issue.

Plenty of well meaning tyrants through history have had views of what was “good”. Plenty of them destroyed lives, murdered countless dissidents, burned villages, allowed countless atrocities to occur in the name of what they thought was “good”.

Perhaps this is different, but the fundamental thought behind the action is the same. Few tyrants ever believe that what they set out to do is evil. It is only when they place their boot on the throats of those whom they disagree with, rather than face a challenge and admit to their faults, that we see them for what they truly are.

Now, more than ever, we must abandon Google, YouTube, and any other platform that acts in this way, regardless of their political leanings. We must embrace replacements, and we must not allow reality to be dictated to us by those with an agenda.