January 19, 2018

Google Discontinues Flawed Fact-Checking Effort; Poisonous Corporate Culture Remains

The Daily Caller’s Eric Lieberman reported early Friday afternoon that Google is discontinuing (for now) its “fact-check” feature. The company is now characterizing the effort, which the Daily Caller exposed as a thinly veiled attempt to target conservative sites while leaving leftists alone, as an “experiment” which has been put “on hold,” while the its engineers see, in Lieberman’s words, “how they can vastly improve a fact-check system.”

Lieberman’s original report on Google’s “fact-check” widget on January 9, originally covered by Corrine Weaver at NewsBusters, identified two major problems:

(While it was) “displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results, no prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.”

(The fact checks which were done were often) “blatantly wrong, asserting (that) sites made ‘claims’ they demonstrably never made.”

Lieberman’s Friday post noted what happened when Google was informed of egregious errors in one post:

After days of back-and-forth … (the Daily Caller) was told it was probably due to the algorithms, something the company doesn’t talk about as a matter of internal policy.

Oh sure. Blame it on the algorithms, not the people who designed and built them. The selection of only conservative articles for fact-checks and the erroneous results arising from them hardly seem accidental.

Based on how the now-suspended effort had been operating, it should just be abandoned. Users are perfectly capable of determining the credibility of “news” presented to them, and they should have long since learned that they need to have a healthy skepticism when encountering new information. They certainly don’t need Google to be serving as their news babysitter.

Abandoning the clearly biased fact-check effort would be a tiny but necessary first step in reforming a corporate culture which, based on evidence presented in former Google engineer James Damore’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the company, has gone stark raving mad.

J. Christian Adams at PJ Media has laid out certain of the details contained in the complaint, while noting that what he can present in limited space only hints at the ugliness Damore has extensively documented. The most important thing everyday internet users need to know is that the company’s poisonous corporate culture has corrupted its three core products: search, news, and video (italicized text was originally bolded by Adams):

Employee Lawsuit Reveals Google as Intolerant Race Cult

Congratulations on finding this article if you used Google. A civil rights lawsuit filed this week revealed its search engine blacklists authors and ideas distasteful to the company.

Google engineer James Damore’s class action complaint describes a creepy cult-like orthodoxy at Google, where dissent is smashed, and the color of your skin is far more important than the content of your character. Reading the complaint is a deep dive into wicked, racial groupthink, and a frightening reminder that it really can happen here. At Google, it does.

… the Left has big plans for America … (Damore’s) experience at Google should make clear to every American that this gang is playing for keeps.

… the thinking that is normal inside a powerful institution like Google should alarm all actual, normal Americans.

… Worse, the complaint says that Google created company sanctioned blacklistsharassment committees, and even encouraged open vocal attacks on white males at company events.

… After Damore posted his memo urging that employees stop being hired and promoted on the basis of race and immutable characteristics, the real onslaught began. Managers attacked him on the discussion boards. Other managers encouraged threats of violence against Damore.

… After Damore was fired, the “Google Recognition Team” allowed for financial bonuses for any employees who attacked Damore’s views publicly. This is the 2017 version of “Party Membership.”

… Google maintains secret blacklists of conservative authors and news sites. Google sought to stifle conservative parenting styles, and made anyone using traditional parenting techniques unwelcome.

… totalitarian psychology seems to dominate the corporate culture at one of the most powerful gatekeepers to American political thought. Thought trials, threats, orthodoxy, shunning, racialism, moral relativism, enforcement committees, and cult-like hunts for thoughtcrime reveal Google as (an) echo chamber that aims to control the thinking of the world.

Adams didn’t even get to YouTube’s ramped-up censorship of videos and users espousing mainstream conservative views.

It’s long past time for intelligent, discerning news consumers of all political persuasions to abandon Google’s search, news, and video platforms, and to show Adams’s column and exhibits from Damore’s complaint to as many of the politically disengaged as possible.

Google has clearly joined Facebook and Twitter in abandoning their knowledge-sharing and discussion-oriented missions in favor of deciding what knowledge can be shared and what discussions can be had. Facebook has routinely allowed its legion of employed thought police to shut down and marginalize access to Christianpro-life, and conservative accounts and news. James O’Keefe’s undercover efforts have exposed Twitter employees’ virtually across-the-board hatred of President Donald Trump and the company’s algorithm-driven, human-assisted attempts to flag “ways of talking” to reduce the visibility and even access of conservatives.

The last thing this world needs is these cesspools of fever-swamp, authoritarian leftism deciding the veracity of presented facts, and determining what news the world can and can’t see.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011918)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Pray against ‘powers of darkness,’ Cardinal Dolan tells pro-life marchers

Filed under: Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Jan 18, 2018 / 04:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the fight against abortion, it is crucial to recognize the reality of evil and the importance of prayer, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said on the eve of the annual March for Life.

The power of evil in the world, he said, is “stronger than any in creation save one, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who called Himself ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’”

“That’s why we come to this place of prayer to commence our project, a home the powers of darkness are scared of, a house where Mary is our Mother, where Jesus dwells, and where we are with family,” he said. “We come to admit realistically that there are powers of darkness in a culture Pope Francis calls ‘throwaway’ and St. John Paul termed ‘of death.’”

Cardinal Dolan delivered the homily at the Jan. 18 Mass of the Vigil for Life, which took place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

The Vigil for Life is held each year on the night before the March for Life, an annual event on or near the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that mandated legal abortion nationwide. …

Go here for the rest of the story.