The Google Election
“Don’t be evil” may no longer be Google’s official company motto, but it remains the last sentence of its Code of Conduct. As part of not being evil, Google maintains that “everything [it does] in connection with [its] work…will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct.”
Apparently, Google does not deem it unethical to fire an employee for expressing the research-based view that differences between the sexes/genders may include occupational proclivities. Google must not consider it unethical to blacklist conservative or otherwise nonleftist news sites, websites, and users. Google must believe that autocompleting searches with patent nonsense represents the highest ethical standards. Google maintains that factual search results representing the world as it is amounts to “algorithmic unfairness” and changing them to desired results using “Machine Learning Fairness” is highly ethical. That is, nonideological, nonaltered search results represent unfairness, while fairness is the result of informational affirmative action results manipulation—in some cases. Algorithmically ranking search results in favor of leftist or left-leaning politics and down-ranking conservative or right-wing sites is most ethical. It must consider rating the “Expertise/Authoritativeness/Trustworthiness” of websites using Wikipedia as meeting the highest ethical standards. Fact-checking only conservative or nonleftist news, often wrongly, is highly ethical. Discrimination against populist political movements and campaigns and favoring other, establishment movements and campaigns meets the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. YouTube’s routinely demonetizing and censoring conservative or otherwise nonleftist content is ethical. Bombarding users with political ads based on their search profiles, and especially bombarding nonleftists with items having a leftist perspective, represents the highest ethics. Blatant declarations of the intent to prevent the reelection of a US presidential candidate using search rankings meets the highest standards of ethics, especially since “(1) biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more,” as Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson conclude.
In the wake of the riots across US cities over the past several months, I ran a Google search for “left-wing violence.” The top two results, from The Guardian and the New York Times, respectively, were entitled “White Supremacists behind Majority of US Domestic Terror Attacks in 2020” and “Far-Right Groups Are behind Most US Terrorist Attacks, Report Finds.” This is a highly ethical result, no doubt, especially when information on leftist violence was sought and no shortage of such articles exist. This is especially ethical, since the search analytics industry has found that the top three search results on Google drive over 70 percent of clicks. The top ten search results for the question, “Will Democrats steal the 2020 election?” included five articles about the prospect of Trump stealing the election, while all ten of the top ten results for “Will Trump steal the election?” were actually about the prospect of Trump stealing the election.
All but leftists realize that Big Digital corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others lean left and squelch opposing views—to the point of creating an alternate reality. But few ask why they are apparently leftist, let alone satisfactorily answering the question—to my satisfaction, that is. How are we to understand the blatant and well-documented leftist bias and the censorship of nonleftist views and sites by these companies? Why leftist? Is the internet leftist merely because those in Silicon Valley have been indoctrinated into leftism?
And should we adopt the view that since Google, Facebook, Twitter and others are private enterprises, they can be as biased and censoring as they like? After all, aren’t these private platforms and not public utilities, with no obligation to represent views with which they disagree? They are no more obliged to do so than I am obliged to allow some Antifa member into my home to spout his, her, or zir beliefs, right?
These are the kinds of questions I address in this talk. The answers should go a long way toward explaining the disavowed yet blatant attempts on the part of Big Tech internet companies to decide the 2020 election, and much, much more. In terms of the election, they’ve interfered in the election with completely favorable coverage of one candidate and unfavorable content along with the near-complete blackout of favorable content about another. They’ve likewise made a rigged election result appear to be a credible result. Then they’ve censored or banned everyone from the president on down from talking about how the election was rigged. That’s more than an in-kind donation. They may be considered accomplices in a federal election crime. They represent a fraud on public credulity.
1. The Governmentalization of Private Industry
In Google Archipelago, I argue that these Big Digital goliaths, or what I call the Google Archipelago, act as appendages of the state, at the very least. They are state apparatuses, or, to use a postmodern neologism, they are “governmentalities.” In a series of lectures entitled Security, Territory, Population, the postmodern theorist Michel Foucault introduced the term “governmentality” to refer to the distribution of state power to the population, or the transmission of governance to the governed. Foucault referred to the means by which the populace comes to govern itself as it adopts and personalizes the imperatives of the state, or how the governed adopt the mentality desired by the government—govern-mentality. One might point to masking and social distancing as instances of what Foucault meant by his notion of governmentality. While Foucault’s usage has merit (yes, Foucault exhibited a few redemptive, libertarian tendencies), I adopt and amend the term to include the distribution of state power to extragovernmental agents—in particular to the extension and transfer of state power to supposedly private enterprises. This governmentalization of private enterprise, and not the privatization of governmental agencies and functions that leftists like Foucault decry, is the real problem with “neoliberalism,” as I see it.
Or do they amount to the same thing? We are witnessing the governmentalization of private industry, the turning of supposedly private enterprises into state apparatuses, and the growth of the state through putatively private extensions of it.
2. Governmentalities in Action
For clear and pertinent examples of governmentalities in this sense, consider government contractors that comprise the so-called shadow government. As depicted in the documentary Shadow Gate—which was banned from YouTube after just one day—according to two whistle-blowers who worked for military and intelligence contractors for many years, government contractors like Dynology, Global Strategies Group, Canadian Global Information (CGI), and many others engag
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