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posted by chromas on Sunday October 14 2018, @05:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-be-████ dept.

Google, continuing to distance itself from "Don't be evil.", has produced an internal document that endorses political censorship to influence elections and more. The argument is that free speech (an "American tradition") is not viable on the internet due to various factors such as the 2016 election of President Donald J. Trump.

The document admits that big tech companies "control the majority of online conversations" and have made a "shift towards censorship" over the popularity of political choices that they are unwilling to accept. This directly contradicts the repeated assertions that the political bias of big tech company executives doesn't end up affecting the products.

Fortunately for free speech, that document has leaked and now you can see the thinking of those who deem themselves your masters.

According to the briefing itself, it was the product of an extensive process involving "several layers of research," including expert interviews with MIT Tech Review editor-in-chief Jason Pontin, Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer, and academic Kalev Leetaru. 35 cultural observers and 7 cultural leaders from seven countries on five continents were also consulted to produce it.

The Breitbart report is divided into several parts:

The Good Censor [alt link (Dropbox download)]

Forbes disagrees:

The "leaked" presentation was quickly framed by some as a roadmap to censorship and that it demonstrated the company was examining how to suppress certain viewpoints or crack down on internet freedoms. Yet, a closer read of the presentation would suggest precisely the opposite: a company at the center of many of our debates about the future of the online world grappling with the existential question of the modern web: how to absolutely preserve freedom of speech, while at the same time preventing terrorists, criminals, repressive governments and trolls from turning this incredible force for good into a toxic and dangerous place that undermines democracy, advances terrorism, assists fraudsters and empowers hatred? How do we elevate the voices of the disenfranchised and give them a place at the table of global discourse, while not also awakening the trolls that seek to repress them? How do we empower the free expression of ideas and bring an incredibly diverse and divided world together, while embracing the differences that make us who we are? How do we reach across countries and cultures, across languages and landscapes, to have meaningful conversations about the future of our shared planet? Most importantly, how can technology play a positive role in helping facilitate the good, empowering civil discourse, while discouraging the bad, from terrorist recruiting to fraud to toxic speech and trolling?

[...] Reading the final report today for the first time alongside the rest of the web, my own take on it is very different than the framing that seems to have emerged in certain quarters. I see not a company charting a future of web censorship, but rather a company in its 20th year reaching out to experts across the world trying to make sense of what the web has become and what its own place should be in that future. To me it is extraordinary to see Silicon Valley actually listening, absorbing and reflecting on what the world is saying about the state of the web. This is the Valley as it should be – listening to its users and understanding the web from their vantage, rather than dictating its own vision for the future of our online world.

Stepping back and looking at the themes of the Google presentation, what one sees is essentially a summary of the state of the web today and the pragmatic reality that in the anarchy of the anything-goes free-for-all of the early web, the darkness began to eclipse the light.

Also at The Verge, Digital Journal, The Hill, Dexerto.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

 
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  • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday October 14 2018, @09:57AM (10 children)

    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday October 14 2018, @09:57AM (#748542)

    Gawds, funniest thing I read all d.....oh, you were serious.
    My bad.

    --
    Trump succeeds in making Nixon look respectable, Mission Accomplished!
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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @11:11AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @11:11AM (#748557)

    Obama already made Nixon look saintly.

    Nixon merely tried to cover up stuff related to petty crimes committed by some campaign workers.

    Obama helped coordinate an operation involving $12 million paid to foreign agents, wiretapping warrants issued after the fact, wiretapping of a political opponent, granting special permission for a banned Russian (the female lawyer who met Trump Jr.) to enter the USA for influencing an election, feeding intelligence data about one candidate to the other candidate... WTF???

    And that's just the largest election scandal. There are a dozen huge scandals that CNN and MSNBC thought you didn't need to know about. Some "were covered" by brief mention one day, despite being far more serious than much of the rest of the news. (Did you hear about running guns to Mexico? Etc.)

    It was all covered on Breitbart.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @02:05PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @02:05PM (#748607)

      St Obama of the Nobel Peace Prize who made it policy to drone US citizens.
      I miss someone like Nixon.

      • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday October 14 2018, @06:12PM

        by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday October 14 2018, @06:12PM (#748675)

        Nixon was president during the Kent State Massacre.
        Where American Military gunned down American students on American soil.
        Nixon would of loved drones.

        --
        Trump succeeds in making Nixon look respectable, Mission Accomplished!
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday October 14 2018, @06:06PM (2 children)

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday October 14 2018, @06:06PM (#748670)

      "It was all covered on Breitbart."

      If you like lies cut from whole cloth. Yea, Breibarts the place to go.
      Conspiracy theories. A kernel of truth here and there compounded with fantasy on their best days.

      Boo! Jade Helm's a gonna attack Texas and O'bummers a gonna make hissef dictator fo' life!!!

      But an orange parasite is A-Ok!

      --
      Trump succeeds in making Nixon look respectable, Mission Accomplished!
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Sunday October 14 2018, @10:40PM

      by jmorris (4844) on Sunday October 14 2018, @10:40PM (#748737)

      feeding intelligence data about one candidate to the other candidate... WTF???

      Dude! You were supposed to at least put a plot reveal like that in spoiler tags. We are still arguing about whether Obama spied on Trump, the big reveal on handing the intel over to the Clinton campaign has apparently been postponed until the next season of The Trump Show. Or it will be the season cliffhanger, hard to say yet.

      But even that isn't the biggest plot twist ahead. The upcoming episode that will cause heads to explode is...


      ... when they drop the docs proving (the dates make it clear they wouldn't be limited to just Trump) spying on all of the major Republican contenders. If you think it the current situation is exciting, things will be really fun when that one drops. I'm waiting for Ted Cruz's floor speech in the Senate because it will be wild. Demands to lock up President Obama, Sec. Clinton, AG Lynch, and everyone else who knew and didn't blow the whistle.

      It will be the major test of our political system for our generation. Lock up or execute the perps and we might retain our current government by deterring a repetition, fail and our fate will be sealed: Banana Republic.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Sunday October 14 2018, @12:45PM (2 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Sunday October 14 2018, @12:45PM (#748587)

    You have to admit, in this particular case, Breitbart has been far more truthful and honest in their reporting than any other news organization.
    And still, we haven't hit peak insanity.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday October 14 2018, @05:54PM (1 child)

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday October 14 2018, @05:54PM (#748668)

      Perhaps, but a single good deed doesn't erase a career of lies.
      I don't trust anyone. But some have gone way out of the way to become disreputable.

      --
      Trump succeeds in making Nixon look respectable, Mission Accomplished!
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @07:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14 2018, @07:05PM (#748684)

        You're right that some have gone way out of the way to become disreputable. It's all relative, so you need to rank them.

        You can put NBC near the bottom. Just yesterday:
        https://i.redd.it/t037ar0b64s11.jpg [i.redd.it]

        (NBC putting Trump's words out of context to make him seem to adore the confederacy or at least General Lee)

        You also need to rank CNN near the bottom. A few weeks back somebody (with cell phone probably) caught Anderson Cooper kneeling in a large puddle while doing a show about flood waters. Feeding the koi is another great example, showing completely dishonest manipulation of the viewers. Trump and the Japanese PM do some sort of fish feeding ceremony. Both of them spoon food to the fish from little wooden boxes, then the PM dumps out crumbs, then Trump follows the PM's example and dumps out crumbs. CNN shows the PM carefully spooning out food, then Trump dumping out food. CNN was clearly trying to make Trump look like a rude and disrespectful ass. With this being so normal in American media today, your impressions of Trump have been warped. It's all on purpose. You're being fed lies.

        Compared to the likes of NBC and CNN, Breitbart actually comes out looking like an honest source of news.