Law & Politics

Share and explore perspectives on censorship, the suppression of speech or information on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, or sensitive.

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Here’s a thought
Censorship is taking place at a scale we haven't even begun to imagine. During yesterday's Senate Committee hearing, we witnessed the revelation that Google is prepared to rig the 2020 elections. How will they do it? Through a process called "Machine Learning Fairness."

According to an undercover video of Google executive Jen Gennai, Google is deploying complex machine learning algorithms to promote their definition fairness throughout all of their online platforms. These fairness algorithms are designed to "prevent the next Trump situation." In case you're wondering, that's a direct quote.

The way these algorithms operate is simple. As explained by Gaurav Gite, a Google software engineer, ML Fairness works by altering the content that a user sees in order to promote an equitable outcome. In his example, if a user searches for "CEOs" on Google, the algorithm would ensure that both male and female CEOs are equally represented, even if equal representation in this space does not align with current reality. The algorithm, in the works since the 2016 election, would also affect the auto-fill suggestions that appear on a Google search by removing "unfair" suggestions and replacing them with ones that further the fairness narrative.

On the surface, this mission sounds like an honorable endeavor. After all, fairness is a good thing, right? But, it begs the question: who defines what's fair? Well, the answer is... Google, of course! The same company that donated millions to the Clinton campaign and zilch to the Trump campaign will serve as a gatekeeper of the information we find online. What could possibly go wrong?

I can't say I'm entirely surprised to hear that one of the most liberal companies in America is using their wealth and technological resources to promote their own political agenda. However, it truly makes us wonder to what extent each of America's tech giants are taking advantage of their influence to manipulate and control public discourse. This is censorship at a scale larger than we've ever witnessed in human history. And fundamentally, it's an attack on truth and an attack on American democracy.
6mo ago  •  2 comments

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