Obama Wants Google to Manipulate News, and the Media Agrees

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Covered as an attempt to combat “fake news,” the progressive company will manipulate news if it can.

A long article reviews how Obama has spoken to and about Google and encouraged them to establish the population in “a common baseline of facts and information.” You know what that means. It means that anyone who believes that gender is based on biology rather than being an (oppressive) social construct” will be muted. Any scientist who would raise doubts that climate change is a pressing issue of national security, would be censored on their platform. They probably won’t do this in an obvious way. But they will manipulate news through their algorithms.

That’s the goal and Google is on board with it, as we see under the blunt headline, “Google.gov.

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Google’s founders have always maintained the conceit that Google’s ranking of information is fundamentally objective, determined by what is, or should be, most useful to users. But in recent years — particularly in the last two, as concern has grown from many quarters over the rise of “fake news” — Google has begun to tailor its search to prioritize content that it sees as more credible.

[..]

In important senses, Google has defined itself from the start as ahead of the woke curve. “We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love,” said Larry Page in 2012. In establishing Google as a company defined by its values as much as its technology, Page and Sergey Brin have long made clear their desire to see Google become a force for good in the world. In 2012, Page reaffirmed that vision in an interview with Fortune magazine, describing his plan to “really scale our ambition such that we are able to cause more positive change in the world and more technological change. I have a deep feeling that we are not even close to where we should be.”

As Google’s sense of public obligation grows, and as progressive government becomes ever more keen on technology as a central instrument of its aims and more aware of tech companies’ power to shape public debates, it is not difficult to see how Google’s role could expand.

[…]

Whether we think of Google as acting in lieu of government or in league with government — either Lessig’s codemaker-as-lawmaker or Thaler and Sunstein’s public-spirited choice architect — Google is uniquely well suited to help further the aims of progressive government along the lines that President Obama described, creating a “common baseline of facts and information.” So will Google someday embrace that role?

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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