Google is losing allies across the political spectrum

Google is losing allies across the political spectrum, by Timothy Lee.

Given Silicon Valley’s liberal views on social issues and Schmidt’s love for Democratic politicians, it was probably inevitable that conservatives would sour on the search giant. But the larger problem for the search giant is that the company has been losing support among Democrats as well.

A growing number of liberal thinkers believes that the concentration of corporate power was a major problem in the American economy. And few companies exemplify that concentration more than Google. …

But the longer-term trajectory here could be ominous. The combination of Bernie Sanders-style populism on the left and Donald Trump-style populism on the right could lead to a future where Google faces hostility from policymakers across parties. …

Conservative skepticism of Google goes back to the early years of the Obama administration. … There really was a close relationship between Google and the Obama White House. And that relationship — and Schmidt’s subsequent support for Hillary Clinton — started to drive a wedge between Google and grassroots conservatives.

Conservative skepticism of Google has only intensified in 2017. The high-profile August firing of James Damore was one key moment here. Damore wrote a controversial memo suggesting that Google’s gender gap might be explained by women having less interest in or aptitude for software engineering, and the former employee argued that Google was becoming an “ideological echo chamber” where right-of-center views weren’t welcome.

When Google terminated Damore, many conservatives argued that Google proved Damore’s point. Conservative critics believed that Damore’s arguments should have been taken seriously within Google and that Google was essentially signalling that conservative viewpoints were not welcome at Mountain View. …

Over the longer term, political rhetoric has a way of transforming into political action. If hostility toward Google and other Silicon Valley giants becomes widespread among conservatives, sooner or later Republican politicians will find ways to capitalize on that. The next Republican president might campaign on the same kind of anti-monopoly rhetoric Trump did but actually follow through with it in office.

Google have been severely down-ranking climate skeptic sites since about 2011. If you use Google, be aware that they are trying to shape the information you find.