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.

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2 Comments

  1. As internet users, we have an alternative to google search: duckduckgo.com

    There are alternatives to youtube as well.

    Don’t patronize a company who is seeking to destroy the values and ideas you personally believe. You have a choice, exercise it.

    Comment by dscott — January 20, 2018 @ 8:09 am

  2. This article shows the connection of the #MeToo conversation with Identify politics.

    Some in the media and current power structures would like to keep their “identify politics”. This opportunity here is huge to make a simple shift of VAWA to a gender neutral policy.

    “Damore’s worst sin at Google was to be white and male and to presume that shouldn’t matter. ”

    The current legal framework has a set of “protected classes”. Technically, the law says there shall not be discrimination based on race nor gender nor age nor religion. But in practice it requires (1) FIRST IDENTIFY yourself to one of the protected classes, e.g. a minority race of the female gender and only AFTER meeting that criteria, then then (2) make a “hostile work environment” claim.

    This description is obviously an unsafe and unhealthy work environment, one where some feared arriving at work or reading the groupthink on company communication media:

    “the complaint says that Google created company sanctioned blacklists, harassment committees, and even encouraged open vocal attacks on white males at company events.”

    To change attitudes, we must change the Laws. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) needs to change to a Violent-free Workplace Act (VFWA). An employee should NOT have to play the game of Identify Politics in order to one to be part of The Team. An employee should be able to raise hostile-environment problems to Human Resources BECAUSE IT ADVERSELY EFFECTS THE WORK PRODUCT. The hostile environment should not have to be linked into social ‘diversity’ groupthink.

    Very glad to see you found this article and posted it. Interesting stuff. Hopefully, change will come to the technology industry.

    Comment by Cornfed — January 20, 2018 @ 8:59 pm

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