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  • Evil is as evil does

    Just read this article and thought of our other thread about net neutrality. Seems to me that "Don't Be Evil" Google is going to wind up in Federal Court on civil charges in a few years. They are developing a pattern of *almost* capricious business decisions that edit the web.

    I realized several years ago that I should just click ahead a few pages on search results if I wanted to see the non-liberal POV on a subject.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...rticle_id=5517

  • #2
    Re: Evil is as evil does

    Originally posted by New Media Journal
    From: Google Help [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 11:56 AM
    To: NewMediaJournal.us
    Subject: [#58423255] Google News

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for writing. We received numerous reports about hate content on your site, and after reviewing these reports, decided to remove your site from Google News. We do not allow articles and sources expressly promoting hate speech viewpoints in Google News (although referencing hate speech for commentary and analysis is acceptable).

    For example, a number of the complaints we looked at on your site were found to be hate content:

    http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/peck/05102006.htm
    http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/stock/05082006.htm
    http://www.newmediajournal.us/guest/imani/04222006.htm

    We hope this helps you understand our position.

    Regards,

    The Google Team
    Originally posted by Passage from an offending article
    Islam is killing people. Islam is killing non-Muslims and Muslims. Islam is killing old and young. Islam is killing Jews and Christians and Hindus. Islam is moving across the world like a dark, evil cloud. When will the free world realize that Islam is as Islam does?
    OMG! Inflammatory opinion journal demands that liberal media tolerate it's intolerance! Clearly Google is in league with the Islamofacicommibears!

    Beyond this, Google appears intimately tied to former vice president and potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. It is no secret that Gore is a senior advisor to Google, a position that garnered him a sizable number of shares according to Fox News political analyst Susan Estrich. On May 19ís The Big Story, Estrich discussed with host John Gibson Goreís connection with Google, and how the wealth generated from the shares he owns in the Internet behemoth could give him enough money to finance his own presidential campaign.
    OMG! Former politican has high level executive position in a company! Clearly Al Gore is the mastermind behind this blatant partisan attitude and his mere presence in the organization is proof that Google is liberal and therefore evil. As we all know, there are no Republicans anywhere in big business doing anything at all to support the Republican party, and their business roles are wholly seperate from their personal poltical lives.

    Monopoly of the flow of Internet information is a real issue that will gain pre-eminence as Google grows and other companies begin to ramp up their search divisions. There will be a lot of blood and money spilled in dealing with that. The fact that Google removed three sites that, after recieving complaints, they did not feel met the minimum standard for Google News consideration is a minor issue.
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    • #3
      Re: Evil is as evil does

      You significantly undermine your position and point with sarcasm and verbal histrionics.

      Regardless, I disagree with your assessment.

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      • #4
        Re: Evil is as evil does

        Originally posted by leejo
        You significantly undermine your position and point with sarcasm and verbal histrionics.
        I disagree with your assessment.
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        • #5
          Re: Evil is as evil does

          Originally posted by Steeler
          I disagree with your assessment.
          Did you wake up 12 or something? What's up with imitating a teenager who needs a snack or a nap?

          You can edit your original post down to the 3 sentences, not lose any meaning, avoid being disrespectful to me and my post, and act your age a little better all at the same time.

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          • #6
            Re: Evil is as evil does

            Originally posted by leejo
            You significantly undermine your position and point with sarcasm and verbal histrionics.

            Regardless, I disagree with your assessment.
            What part specifically do you disagree with? The free market will correct this "evilness" if it needs to be corrected, right?
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            • #7
              Re: Evil is as evil does

              Originally posted by leejo
              Did you wake up 12 or something? What's up with imitating a teenager who needs a snack or a nap?

              You can edit your original post down to the 3 sentences, not lose any meaning, avoid being disrespectful to me and my post, and act your age a little better all at the same time.
              You need to grow some thicker skin leejo, if you can't take some gentle ribbing. And I DO disagree with your assessment that my use of sarcasm has undermined my position. I think it makes my position abundantly clear and I will continue to use it where I feel it serves a rhetorical purpose (within the boundaries of conduct on this forum). My post is not disrespectful to you individually, however scathing it may be to the article you referenced, and I see no need to edit it further.

              And I'd like to point out that I agreed with you on the potential that Google will end up in civil court over these issues sometime soon.
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              • #8
                Re: Evil is as evil does

                Originally posted by CingularDuality
                What part specifically do you disagree with? The free market will correct this "evilness" if it needs to be corrected, right?
                Well the "Do no evil" corporate motto seems to open them up to ridicule at least as much as "fair and balanced." I wasn't calling this particular bit of breach of contract and selective censorship "evil", merely alluding to the motto Google's founders selected. An ethos or simply clever marketing? Time will tell.

                With regard to how I disagree with Steeler's post, I was referring to his last sentence: The fact that Google removed three sites that, after recieving complaints, they did not feel met the minimum standard for Google News consideration is a minor issue.

                I don't think it's a minor issue.

                Yes I think a free market *can* correct this behavior, but I don't think that will keep google out of court. I thought a free market could take care of itself v. Microsoft too. And I think that's basically the model we'll see here: Google will become involved in expensive and time-consuming litigation while its competition will be free to fourish until we achieve a model similar to network news: several rougly-equal competing organizations delivering content.

                98% of the $200,000 that Google employees contributed to the 2004 presidential election went to the democrats. They are the largest corporate underwriter for Moveon.org. Steeler sneered at the connection between the CEO and Al Gore, but that's just part of a larger picture. Google isn't just a set of nifty tools and a search engine, it has become a major news source, and it is decidedly biased to the left. That's cause for some concern.

                I think Google can fix their ship but they probably will react with self-righteous sarcasm at suggestions that they ought, resulting in costly lawsuits and being relegated to membership in a pack, instead of achieving what the corporation could by implementing some controls or simply adopting a neutral posture on the bits they choose to index, just as they want ISPs to be neutral in passing bits thought their pipes.

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                • #9
                  Re: Evil is as evil does

                  First, you're assuming that the behaviour in question needs correction. If a site does not conform to the company's definition of news source, in this case as a carrier of potentially actionable hate speech, then Google has the option as a free aggregator service to exclude that site from it's list of news providers. Rememeber that Google does not link to home pages but to specific articles churned up by the search algorithm. If they are likely to link to a legally objectionable article by crawling a site, then what choice do they have but to remove the site from their listings? You can still find the site through a normal unfiltered search on regular Google.

                  As they take these kind of things to court, plaintiffs will have to prove that Google News is an essential facility, as the article says, to business. And that exclusion from this free, privately operated service is a violation of either civil rights or an unfair business practice. Tough things to prove, especially for sites such as Malkin or LGF, that produce no orginal reporting, only opinion pieces.

                  98% of the $200,000 that Google employees contributed to the 2004 presidential election went to the democrats. They are the largest corporate underwriter for Moveon.org. Steeler sneered at the connection between the CEO and Al Gore, but that's just part of a larger picture. Google isn't just a set of nifty tools and a search engine, it has become a major news source, and it is decidedly biased to the left. That's cause for some concern.
                  Shall we begin to draft equal political opportunity legislation, such that all media employers must hire comparative numbers of Republicans and Democrats? How many Republican donors work in the media industry? How many Greens? How many Democrats work in Big Oil? I would agree that having a monopolistic gateway squelching opposing public opinion would be a terrible and dangerous thing, but this ephemeral Democrat-Google conspiracy doesn't seem like a likely source of such a threat.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Evil is as evil does

                    Good points, but I don't think the plantiffs in this situation will be only private businesses, but the Justice Department itself and the claim will be unfair trade practices. Google's problem in this regard doesn't rest with its bias and it won't be defended by the fact that it isn't charging for this service.

                    Internet Explorer was a free service but it landed Microsoft in Federal and EU courts. Google's problem, like Microsoft's, is its size.

                    I'm not assuming that the behavior in question needs correction, I'm predicting that the behavior will generate an unpleasant future for Google, and, if left unchanged, will have an impact on the web as a whole.

                    If you are prepared to argue that net neutrality is necessary, surely you can see that a content indexer of google's size and influence must also be neutral. The principles you're seeking to implement with net neutrality fall flat at the content level, instead of at the ISP level when Google decides liberally (literally) what content is "hate speech" and what content isn't. At the very least, they need to diversify the political leanings of the people making that call and expose the decision-making process to scrutiny. From my point of view, they're (occasionally getting busted for) calling inflamatory speech hate speech when it's on a conservative site.

                    They are going to need to put some processes in place not just to be free and fair in their editorial decisions but to demonstrate that fact. If the NY Times makes liberal editorial decisions, it only impacts the NY Times financially. If Google makes liberal editorial decisions, it impacts a host of web sites who rely on referrals from Google for advertising revenue. Therefore, a bias at Google costs people money and exposes Google to litigation both from offended parties and by the Justice Department if the behavior seems systemic. This puts shareholder equity at risk. For what?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Evil is as evil does

                      Google has plenty of cash. This tends to make problems go away. That and the user agreements and contracts you sign when you use ad sense...

                      If people are upset at Google, they need to use a different service. It's not like they're the default (*cough*MSN*cough*) or even the largest (*cough*YAHOO*cough*) content aggregator on the block. They just happen to be the most popular on The Street at the moment.

                      As for Al Gore, he seems to be a great success when used as a token board member/advisor for tech companies. Apple and Google are doing smashingly.

                      And if you believe "do no evil" (or "Fair and Balanced" for that matter) I have a bridge to sell you.

                      EDIT: Also, I fail to see why Google, needs to be fair. If they're not fair or if they piss off people who perceive them as unfair AND it hurts their bottom line, then you'll see the problem correcting itself. Also, the NYT is a public company. So if the NYT makes a bad decision, it hurts investors. Not just the NYT.

                      Sorry for the spastic comments, I'm not feeling verbal this afternoon :)
                      ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                      No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                      <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Evil is as evil does

                        I think they need to be "fair" and be seen by the public as "fair" because that is the least costly path and the best use of their shareholder's money. Google doesn't have a lot of money, they have a lot of shareholders. That money can go *poof*.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Evil is as evil does

                          I feel the best use of my money that google can do is to make it into more money. They've done a good job so far and have made me some decent money on paper. There may be risk in being seen as politically biased, but it hasn't hurt my investments in Exxon, NewsCorp, Apple, or so far Google. And I seriously doubt that it ever will.
                          ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                          No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                          <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Evil is as evil does

                            You misunderstand. If you wake up tomorrow and see that any of those companies has been indicted by the Justice Department for unfair trade practices, can you imagine what will happen to that stock tomorrow and for the next 10 years? Look at a graph of MSFT over the last 5 years. Stagnant. Since the DOJ brought charges in '98, MSFT went up a bit, by virtue of the bubble, then dropped and stayed there.

                            To be clear, Google can do anything it pleases as far as I'm concerned, up to and including mis-managing itself into the ground a la the formerly mighty AOL. I'm simply saying that I think they are playing schenanigans with how they enforce their policies and I think it will get very expensive for them if they don't fix it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Evil is as evil does

                              For google to be truly neutral, they would also have to allow on their news page sites advocation terrorism. For them to be part of a liberal conspiracy, they would have to allow sites advocating that all the neo-conservatives be round up and shot. What I'm wondering is how many sites they've blocked for other reasons. I'm not saying this is how it is, but what if google has blocked liberal sites as well? What if the conservative sites are jumping on a bandwagon looking to stamp the 'tolerant' liberals as intolerant, and hence this issue is not conservative, but conservatives are being the most vocal?

                              I read the first offending article, and can see why Google is dropping the site. The writing is extremely offensive and hate filled. I don't think that it has much to do with the site being conservative, I think it has to do with the author trying to decide whether we should bomb Mecca or Medina first.

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