GOP Senator Introduces A Bill That Would Blow Up Business Models For Facebook, YouTube and Other Tech Giants


By Mary Catherine Wellons
cnbc.com


Key Points

  • Sen. Josh Hawley introduces legislation to remove the immunity Big Tech receives for user-posted content.
  • The bill would only affect companies with more than 30 million U.S. users, 300 million global users, or $500 million in annual revenue, but that would cover giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
  • However, large companies would be able to apply for immunity from the bill by having the FTC attest that their algorithms and content removal policies do not discriminate on the basis of political viewpoints, a common complaint of conservatives.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is turning up the heat on an issue that is sure to spark outrage in Silicon Valley.

Hawley, a tech critic, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would remove the immunity big technology companies receive under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The CDA protects online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube from liability for the content users post. However, companies will be able to earn immunity from the crackdown if they submit to audits every two years to prove their algorithms and content-removal practices are “politically neutral.”

The idea of limiting Section 230 immunity has earned bipartisan support in recent years, as the companies have struggled to keep offensive and illegal content, ranging from terrorist propaganda to foreign-influenced election meddling, off their platforms.

Repealing the immunity provision could force these companies to use an editorial system where every piece of user-posted content would have to be vetted for illegal or libelous material before it’s posted, instead relying on algorithms and human checkers to scan it after it was already online and had a chance to spread to millions of people. This would fundamentally alter the business models of companies that depend on huge volumes of user-generated content, including all the big social networks.

The immunity provision of Hawley’s bill echoes concerns from other politically conservative lawmakers that these platforms are censoring right-wing voices by unfairly removing them from the platform. For instance, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hammered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about alleged political bias during the executive’s testimony before Senate in April 2018.

“With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship,” said Hawley. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.”

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Republican Google Engineer Writes Open Letter About Company’s ‘Outrage Mobs’ And ‘Witch Hunts’


 
 
J. Arthur Bloom
DailyCaller.com
 
 

A Republican Google software engineer has written an open letter describing a culture of left-wing “outrage mobs” that make use of the company’s anonymous bias reporting channels to shut down dissent.

The , published Tuesday morning on Medium, was written by software engineer Mike Wacker, who was reported himself multiple times via the company’s anonymous reporting tools.

“If left unchecked,” Wacker wrote, “these outrage mobs will hunt down any conservative, any Christian, and any independent free thinker at Google who does not bow down to their agenda.”

In one case, Wacker describes a fellow Republican employee who was reported for saying nice things about the University of Toronto academic Jordan Peterson. He was given a note in writing that said, “One Googler raised a concern that you that you appeared to be promoting and defending Jordan Peterson’s comments about transgender pronouns, and this made them feel unsafe at work.” (RELATED: Documents Detailing Google’s ‘News Blacklist’ Show Manual Manipulation Of Special Search Results)

Wacker himself was twice reported via the company’s anonymous reporting channels.

“You wrote in the activists-us@ group: ‘The definition of ‘Google’s values’ that matters is the one used by Google’s activists, who could only be described as ‘nonpartisan’ in the same sense that the Women’s March could be described as inclusive towards pro-life Jewish women,'” reads a note he received in January. “Other members of the group responded that your statement was percieved [sic] as hateful/incendiary/inflammatory. [redacted].”

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Google Influenced Midterm Elections, May Have Cost Republicans Seats: Study


ZeroHedge.com

New research reveals that Google built biases into its search results that influenced the 2018 midterm elections - possibly costing Republicans three congressional districts

First things first - the study was conducted by Dr. Robert Epstein - a San Diego-based Harvard Ph.D. who founded the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He's also a Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT), a UCSD visiting scholar, and served as editor-in-chief of Psychology Today. 

He also supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 (just like Google!).

Down to the findings: 

Epstein and AIBRT analyzed Google searches linked to three highly competitive southern California congressional races in which Democrats won, and found that Google's "clear democrat bias" may have flipped the seats away from Republican candidates. According to the study, at least 35,455 undecided voters within the three California districts may have been persuaded to vote Democrat due to the biased Google search results. 

Epstein says that in the days leading up to the 2018 midterms, he was able to preserve “more than 47,000 election-related searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, along with the nearly 400,000 web pages to which the search results linked.”

Analysis of this data showed a clear pro-Democrat bias in election-related Google search results as compared to competing search engines. Users performing Google searches related to the three congressional races the study focused on were significantly more likely to see pro-Democrat stories and links at the top of their results.

As Epstein’s previous studies have shown, this can have a huge impact on the decisions of undecided voters, who often assume that their search results are unbiased. Epstein has called this the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME). -Breitbart

 

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Video: Research Psychologist Epstein: Google Manipulation Shifted 800,000 To 4.6 Million Votes In 2018 Election


In a previous appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight Epstein revealed that Google can take a 50-50 split among undecided voters and change it into a 90-10 split with no one knowing they had been manipulated and without leaving a paper trail… It has to do with their search suggestions.

On Thursday Dr. Epstein revealed that just one Google shift in search results on Election Day 2018 shifted from 800,000 to 4.6 million votes to Democratic candidates.

This follows the shocking Breitbart exposé by Allum Bokhari published Thursday that proves Google has been manipulating search results.

Of course the Big Tech companies have only been targeting only conservative websites and publications since the 2016 election.

 

 
 
 
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THE GOOD CENSOR’: Leaked Google Briefing Admits Abandonment of Free Speech for ‘Safety And Civility’


An internal company briefing produced by Google and leaked exclusively to Breitbart News argues that due to a variety of factors, including the election of President Trump, the “American tradition” of free speech on the internet is no longer viable.

By Allum Bokhari
Breitbar.com

Despite leaked video footage showing top executives declaring their intention to ensure that the rise of Trump and the populist movement is just a “blip” in history, Google has repeatedly denied that the political bias of its employees filter into its products.

But the 85-page briefing, titled “The Good Censor,” admits that Google and other tech platforms now “control the majority of online conversations” and have undertaken a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world.

Examples cited in the document include the 2016 election and the rise of Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in Germany.

Responding to the leak, an official Google source said the document should be considered internal research, and not an official company position.

The briefing labels the ideal of unfettered free speech on the internet a “utopian narrative” that has been “undermined” by recent global events as well as “bad behavior” on the part of users. It can be read in full below.

It acknowledges that major tech platforms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter initially promised free speech to consumers. “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations,” says the document.

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