Google Wants to Be Your Media Mommy, by Peter Van Buren

Google wants to limit your searches, for your own good, of course. From Peter Van Buren at americanconservative.com:

The company suggest it may have to protect us from the bad things that elected Trump and speech that makes us feel unsafe.

Google might soon add its terms of service to the First Amendment. A leakeddocument from the tech giant argues that because of a variety of factors, including the election of Donald Trump, what we call the “American tradition” of free speech may no longer be viable. The report lays out how Google can serve as the world’s “Good Censor,” a stern mommy figure protecting us from harmful content and, by extension, dangerous behavior, like electing the wrong president again.

The document, which Google has officially characterized as research, is infuriatingly vague about whether any decisions have been made or action has been taken. So think of all this as a guidepost, like the Ghost of Christmas Future showing us potential doom ahead.

Google maintains 90 percent market dominance in the internet browsing space and processes some 3.5 billion searches a day. It’s now talking about changing the rules so the freedom to speak will no longer exist independent of the content of speech. What you’re allowed to say could depend on Google’s opinion of whether or not it will negatively affect others. To Google, the personal liberty of speech may require balancing against collective well-being. The company is acknowledging for the first time that it has the responsibility and power to unilaterally adjudicate between “free-for-all” and “civil-for-most” versions of society.

We should be paying more attention to how they plan to do this. But because the document leaked on Breitbart and because the initial rounds of censorship have impacted mostly those right of center, it has received little critical attention. Yet the significance of this foray into censorship extends beyond the left-right fight, because the standards for censored content are easily changed. If this plan is implemented, everything you ever read online will be judged before it reaches you (or doesn’t reach you).

 

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