Google war-gamed subverting Donald Trump’s travel ban

Google war-gamed subverting Donald Trump’s travel ban, by John McKinnon.

Days after the Trump administration instituted a travel ban in January last year, Google employees discussed ways they might be able to tweak the company’s search-­related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organisations and contact politicians and agencies.

Internal company emails show that employees proposed ways to “leverage” search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Iran’, etc” and “prejudiced, ­algorithmically biased search ­results from search terms ‘Mexico’, ‘Hispanic’, ‘Latino’, etc.”

The email chain, while sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity, suggests employees considered ways to harness the company’s vast influence on the internet in response to the travel ban.

Google said none of the ideas discussed were implemented. “These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented,” a company spokeswoman said.

Sure. We know they do it on climate change, and they’ve never admitted to that AFAIK. So why not other areas of politics?

hat-tip Stephen Neil