Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, says the company will “engineer” specific algorithms for RT and Sputnik to make their articles less prominent on the search engine’s news delivery services.
“We are working on detecting and de-ranking those kinds of sites – it’s basically RT and Sputnik,” Schmidt said during a Q & A session at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada on Saturday, when asked about whether Google facilitates “Russian propaganda.” …
The Alphabet chief, who has been referred to by Hillary Clinton as a “longtime friend,” added that the experience of “the last year” showed that audiences could not be trusted to distinguish fake and real news for themselves.
“We started with the default American view that ‘bad’ speech would be replaced with ‘good’ speech, but the problem found in the last year is that this may not be true in certain situations, especially when you have a well-funded opponent who is trying to actively spread this information,” he told the audience.
Schmidt advised Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign on digital operations, and offered the same services to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2015, according to several emails from campaign chairman John Podesta’s private account, published by WikiLeaks last October. …
Censorship by Google:
Google’s initiative will have a direct impact on “freedom of speech and thought” in the US, believes Prof. Dan Kovalik, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
“It is a form of censorship, and the idea is to lead readers away from RT content. And it will have an impact on the discourse in this country,” Kovalik told RT. “When [you start] censoring anyone, they are going to censor everyone, and I think everyone in the US should be appalled by this and very concerned.” ..
Google is dancing to the tune of the US government as part of the broader campaign to demonize Russia, political commentator and TV host Steve Malzberg told RT.
“This is all about the fact that Russia is right now the enemy. Russia has been made the enemy by the left, the Democrats and, by definition, the media. The media has been nonstop for a year now about ‘evil Russia.’”
Google deranked climate skeptic sites from about 2010.
Google are a private company so they are free to be evil — to censor and misrepresent as they see fit — but it’s still a free country and we are free to take our business elsewhere. I switched to DuckDuckGo as my search engine, and now prefer it (though no search engine is perfect, and I still use Google for an occasional search).
hat-tip Stephen Neil