In the wake of complaints about rampant misinformation affecting the presidential election, Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL) subsidiary Google announced on Monday that it is working on an update that will restrict ad-selling software from appearing on fake news sites.
Social media giant Facebook, Inc. (FB) and to a lesser degree Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) have also come under fire for what critics perceive as enabling questionable and unverified content that appears on news feeds. And that’s a big deal, given that the Pew Research Center says almost half of Americans get their news from Facebook as opposed to established media entities. But Google’s decision to restrict ad selling on fake news sites could be about preserving its own credibility.
Read more: Google Aims to Block Fake News (GOOGL, FB) | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/news/google-aims-block-fake-news-googl-fb
“Questionable and unverified content”, according to whom? Those that do the verifying — aren’t they questionable themselves?
In an effort to stifle free speech and the open market of ideas, technology companies are taking a partisan stance and siding with the corrupt mainstream media, to act as filters of information for “half of Americans”. That does not bode well for these technology companies. They should instead be focusing on simply being the means of transporting the message, but not as biased moderators of the message. Leave it to the public to determine the credibility of their sources. If the public does not learn how to critically think about the material they read, then they will be more susceptible to brainwashing. Brainwashing, perhaps, is the intent of Google, Facebook and Twitter all along?
Here’s an example from the article itself:
On Sunday, the advertising juggernaut was accused of serving up its own brand of fake news in the form of search results for “final election numbers,” which yielded a false news story claiming President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote.
False? Who said with complete veracity that Trump lost the popular vote, and why is that particular view considered factual? At the time of publication, there were legitimate arguments on both sides regarding the popular vote. If all the votes were tallied from Michigan and other states whose unreported counties were probably going to be voting in favour of Trump, there is an argument to be made that he may have won the popular vote. At the same time, he may not have won the popular vote merely taking into account the reported numbers after the election was called. However, the popular vote does not make a difference in the outcome of the election (electoral college votes are the ones that matter) hence why the accuracy of the popular vote should be contentious, and why it should be open for debate. If they plan on censoring such arguments, it becomes clear the ones who control what is fake and what is real will push their biases on to the populace, preventing people from discovering what they perceive to be factual on their own. The Ministry of Truth, a.k.a. the established media entities, will reign supreme.
Google, Facebook and Twitter will do technology and everyone a huge favour by being as non-partisan and apolitical as possible, before setting precedent on censoring and limiting free speech on the Internet, before becoming another propaganda outlet for the Ministry of Truth. It may be time for newer social media sites to take over, like gab.ai over Twitter, in order to preserve open dialogue.
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