Just because the top people at Google and Facebook are liberals doesn’t mean the companies aren’t—dare we say it?—greedy. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
Here’s the ugly truth: Facebook and Google are profit-maximizing quasi-monopolies who will do anything to protect their monopolies.
Of the many remarkable trend changes of the past year, few are more striking than the fawning embrace of Facebook et al. by Big Media turning to an enraged sense of betrayal.Facebook and Google–by their own self-definitions, shining beacons of liberalism and goodness (we’re not evil, we’re fantabulous!)– were viewed by the famously liberal Big Media as allies in the fight against Trump, illiberalism, populism, deglobalization, etc.
Now, to their horror, Big Media has discovered that not only did their Big Tech sweethearts betray their affection and trust, they’re just another bunch of predatory profit-maximizing monopolies who will stab anyone and everyone in the back who gets in their way to higher profits and more power.
It would be sad if it wasn’t so pathetic. Poor Big Media, so anxious to be hip and with it, so anxious to impress social media while trying to exploit its reach to prop up their own dying business model. Big Media, so easily seduced by Big Tech: we’re liberal, too, and together we’ll lead the world out of darkness into light, blah blah blah.
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have no discernible principles. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The New York Times has painted a 5,300 word picture of an out-of-control Facebook’s desperate and incompetent damage control measures in the wake of multiple scandals.
Based on interviews with over 50 current and former company executives, lawmakers, government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members – most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity – the Times illustrates how Facebook resorted to mercenary tactics when it came to combatting criticism over everything from Russian ad-spending during the 2016 US election, to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, to the platform’s blind eye towards corrupt governments using the social network to commit atrocities around the world.
as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. –NYT
Posted in Business, Cronyism, Government, Intelligence, Law, Media, Morality, Privacy, Surveillance, Technology
Tagged Apple, Facebook, Google, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg
If the history of business is any guide, Google too shall pass. From Mark Nestmann at lewrockwell.com:
A few months ago, the Verge leaked a training video from Google. The video, obviously not intended for public distribution, described the data produced by a girl on her cell phone – all snatched up by Google without her awareness.
That data, according to the video, “describes our actions, decisions, preferences, movement, and relationships.” Google uses the analogy of a ledger, with the data siphoned off the web by the internet giant being “a constantly evolving representation of who we are.”
The ledger, of course, is you. And the video made it clear that Google believes you do not own the data about you, but that you are merely a “transient carrier” of it. What’s more, Google suggests that over time, it could provide “more inputs” to the ledger with the goal of modifying your behavior.
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Governments, History, Intelligence, Media, Privacy, Surveillance, Technology
Tagged China, DuckDuckGo, Google
Almost everything governments do is immoral, so the reluctance to work on government projects is understandable. There are still some honest people left in the world. From Ali Breland at thehill.com:
Workers at Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are increasingly questioning their employers on the ethics of their work, in some cases leaving jobs and publicly rejecting recruiting offers to make a stand.
The pushback comes as tech companies have expanded into controversial projects, taking big-dollar contracts to provide services to the government and military. That work touches on a range of contentious issues from surveillance, intelligence and data collection to military weaponry.
The highly public protests are raising worries that the industry’s business dealings with government could make it harder to recruit and keep top talent.
In one high-profile example, Matt Meshulam, a software engineer based in Chicago, received an email from an Amazon recruiter in August. But instead of setting up a time to speak, he sent back a quick note explaining why he had no interest in working at the tech behemoth.
“I am not willing to consider opportunities with Amazon as long as it sells facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, and enables ICE’s separation of immigrant families by providing technology to Palantir,” he wrote, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Meshulam even shared parts of his letter on Twitter.
Meshulam is one of a number of engineers who have publicly turned down recruiters from high-profile tech companies under the hashtag #TechWontBuildIt.
Their reasons range from corporate efforts to thwart unionization, such as Tesla, to concerns over Facebook’s data privacy practices.
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.
The “Do No Evil” company is doing a lot of evil for various governments. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- If the big social media companies choose what to publish and what not to publish, they should be subject to the same licensing and requirements as media organizations.
- Google has decided it will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work because Google employees were upset that the technology might be used for lethal military purposes. Yet Google is planning to launch a censored search engine in China that will empower a totalitarian “Big Brother is watching you” horror state.
- Freedom Watch filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit against Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, claiming that they suppress conservative speech online.
- A Media Research Center report found that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube stifle conservative speech and that in some instances staffers have admitted that doing so was intentional.
- Chinese officials prevented a journalist, Liu Hu, from taking a flight because he had a low “social credit” score. According to China’s Global Times, as of the end of April 2018, authorities had blocked individuals from taking 11.14 million flights and 4.25 million high-speed rail trips.
|Google is reportedly planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, code-named “Dragonfly,” which will aid and abet a totalitarian “Big Brother is watching you” horror state. (Image source: [Photo of woman] iStock)