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  1. Link to Post #61
    Moderator (on Sabbatical) Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Also relevant here:

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    The growth of Fintech continues. Google wants to be a bank. So they aim to control both information and money (which in some ways is a kind of information).

    Quote Google wants to be your bank and will soon offer accounts
    7 hours ago
    News
    Silicon Valley continues to invade your wallet.

    Google plans to offer checking accounts to customers starting in the US next year, a source familiar with Google's plans told CNN Business.

    Google is partnering with Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University for the initiative.


    Google is getting into banking (Supplied)

    "We're exploring how we can partner with banks and credit unions in the US to offer smart checking accounts through Google Pay, helping their customers benefit from useful insights and budgeting tools, while keeping their money in an FDIC or NCUA-insured account," a company spokesperson said.

    But Google doesn't plan to take center stage on the checking accounts.

    Instead, the financial institutions' brands will be put on the accounts and banks will be responsible for the financial plumbing and compliance.

    Partner banks and credit unions will offer these smart checking accounts through Google Pay.

    Google also hasn't decided whether the accounts would charge fees.

    The push into checking accounts is the latest instance of a Big Tech company moving into the financial services space.

    Amazon also wants to introduce checking accounts for customers.

    Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency project earlier this year.

    And Apple has teamed up with Goldman Sachs to launch a credit card, while its Apple Pay service has become a go-to payment method for many iPhone customers.

    Google is attempting to deepen its relationship with consumers by entering into finance, Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, told CNN Business.

    "The company has an unmatched position within the consumer life cycle and now they're trying to leverage where they are," Ives said.

    Facebook hope the currency could drive more e-commerce on its services and boost ads on its platforms. (Supplied)
    Google already offers smart home devices like Nest and Google Assistant and just entered into health and wellness world with its planned acquisition of Fitbit.

    "The missing piece is banking," said Ives.

    Ives said Google's initiative probably won't cause big banks any concern for now, but Big Tech's ongoing expansion of its financial footprint will likely pose a competitive threat in the future -- especially as it shows no signs of letting up

    "This is just the tip of the spear in terms of where [tech giants are] going," said Ives.

    Politicians in Washington, who are already investigating the dominance of big tech companies, will probably review Google's move closely.

    Google's effort could draw scrutiny given Washington's distaste for both Big Tech and big banks, Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen and Company, said in an analyst note.

    "We have trouble seeing how combining the two is going to produce an outcome that either Democrats or Republicans will embrace," Seiberg said.

    There's no release date set for Australia at this time.
    From: https://amp.9news.com.au/article/996...mpression=true
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Zach Vorhies--Why the World Needs a Google Detox
    Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
    November 17, 2019
    ( Live links in the article)
    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/a..._rid=751916983

    "STORY AT-A-GLANCE
    Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies has released 950 pages of Google documents that paint a comprehensive picture of how Google is manipulating public opinion and the political landscape
    Changes at Google first became noticeable in 2016, after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Vorhies later discovered evidence suggesting Google was playing a role in the effort to remove President Trump from office
    Machine Learning Fairness is a Google project that replaces “unfair” search results — even when the “unfairness” is accurately reflecting worldly reality — with more “fair and balanced” search results, thereby artificially altering what people perceive as “reality”
    Google tools such as autofill search recommendations can be used to sway public opinion on political (and other topics), which can have significant political consequences
    Research shows biased search rankings can shift voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, and that people will be completely unaware of having been manipulated
    In this interview, Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies, who worked as a senior software engineer at Google and YouTube for over eight years, shares his inside knowledge of this global monopoly, revealing why Google is not a reliable source of information anymore.

    Google's monopoly over search is matched by a continued reassurance that it is an unbiased search platform. Google is actively suppressing and censoring information, proving it is anything but unbiased.

    While some of the information revealed is related to politics, you can read about my views about the two-party U.S. federal government here.

    The point of sharing this information is that Google is manipulating search results to reflect its views, and to influence our social behavior while denying this is happening.

    The Wall Street Journal just published a thorough investigation covering these same points.

    Vorhies recently released about 950 pages of internal Google documents that paint a comprehensive picture of what's really going on. You can find all of those documents on the Project Veritas website.1

    What Happened to 'Don't Be Evil'?
    Like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden before him, Vorhies is a courageous patriot who is trying to do the right thing by warning everyone about how Google is now manipulating and censoring the global storehouse of internet-based information.

    "Everything started out with Google really great," Vorhies says. "They had this mission statement of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. They also had this idea of 'Don't be evil.' It was built right into their initial public offering (IPO) statements.

    I thought at the time, 'This is great. This is exactly the kind of company that the world needs. We need to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible. We need to let the algorithms decide what goes to the top and let the users decide what's most useful for them and then make sure that other people are able to find that information.'

    Google stayed true to those principles all the way up until 2016, until Donald Trump won the election. For some reason, they decided they were going to throw all these mission statements away and go after the president of the United States, censor the internet and distort the news so that people's searches could be redirected towards antipresidential sentiment.

    This eventually morphed into not just censorship of the president, but censorship of information related to health … I realized [that] if this was allowed to continue, then this agenda of Big Pharma would be able to become … 'the truth' …

    Once I found out that Google was censoring a lot of information, I started looking at the information it was censoring with a new degree of 'They wouldn't be censoring it unless it was true,' sort of thing.

    It's a strange heuristic to use to figure out what's true in the world, but you've just got to figure out what they're censoring. You kind of understand that they're censoring it because it's not Big Tech-friendly. It's not friendly to the established players."

    Some 'Fake News' Isn't so Fake After All
    Shortly after Trump won the presidential election, you started hearing more and more about the scourge of "fake news." Google, like Facebook and others, decided they had to protect users from fake news. The problem is, who determines what's fake and what's not?

    Using Google's internal search engine, Vorhies set out to determine what Google's definition of fake news was. He found several examples in a presentation. However, in it were actual, verifiably real news events. "I went, 'Wait a minute. Is this about fake news or is this about controlling the narrative for like political purposes?'" Vorhies says.

    He began collecting these documents because he knew they were explosive enough that Google would remove them if word ever got out about them. In his continued search for real news presented as fake, he started unearthing other disturbing projects.

    "The main project responsible for Google censorship is a thing called 'Machine Learning Fairness' (ML Fairness). As you imagine, they're not going to call their censorship regime something bad. They're going to call it something like 'fairness.'

    So, if you're against that, you're against fairness. It's a euphemism. I discovered there was this umbrella project, 'ML Fairness,' and there were these subcomponents like 'Project Purple Rain,' which is a 24-hour response team that is monitoring the internet."

    How Machine Learning Fairness Twists Perception of Reality
    Just what is ML Fairness and how does it work? Vorhies explains:

    "Let's say that this circle right here represents the entire spectrum of all possible artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. ML Fairness is a small part of that type of AI. It's a relatively new type of AI. What machine learning does is it simulates brain neurons and how they fire.

    If you remember how a brain neuron fires, it takes in as input signals from other neurons and then mixes those signals together and decides whether it wants to fire or not, based on the signals that it receives.

    Well, these artificial neurons do something similar. They have a collection of inputs, depending on the internal rule set. It will fire depending on the inputs it gets … And then that output is used as input for further downstream processing.

    If you have this collection of millions of simulated neurons … you can start to create very complex behavior that's able to solve problems, like chess or the game Go … It can classify hate speech. That's the part that's interesting to me — how this thing could be used to classify information across the internet.

    ML Fairness is a type of AI that takes information on the internet, classifies it and then ranks it. And then the Google engine will figure out whether the information is fair or not. And if it is 'fair,' it goes to the top. If it's not fair, then it gets pushed to the bottom. That's what ML Fairness is in a nutshell."

    What this manipulation ultimately ends up doing is presenting a twisted and false view of the world. What you're seeing in your search results is what the AI algorithm decided is most fair — not what's actually happening in the real world.

    This is how you now end up getting automated search suggestions such as "men can have periods" and "men can have babies," even though these are biological impossibilities. However, the algorithm deems the idea that only women can menstruate and bear children as "unfair" and basically "sexist," and thus it's pushing these ridiculous search suggestions to the top.

    This obnoxious discrepancy is clear when using search terms like "men can …" The manipulation of reality will not be as transparent when using health or political search words, when you cannot be absolutely sure, ahead of time, about what the absolute truth is.

    Did Google Conspire to Commit Treason?
    Vorhies saw these changes starting to take place in early 2017. Next, Google announced it was going to start assigning an "authoritativeness score" to all news content. "I was able to see this ranking on internal documents," Vorhies says. High rankings were given to outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

    "These outlets, in my opinion, have been producing propaganda," Vorhies says. "They led to us into war with Iraq with the weapons of mass destruction hoax. They've lied to us [about] Vietnam. They have a history of supporting every war and military encouragement around the world that has [led to] the destruction of millions of lives."

    In June 2017, chief executive officer of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, announced that this was how they were going to filter news content across the YouTube platforms. As Vorhies expected, this led to a clamp down on anything that goes against the mainstream narrative.

    "Around that time, I had the fortune of catching [another] seditious activity by Google. What I caught them doing was deleting words out of the translation dictionary from Arabic to English, in order to make a Trump tweet sound crazy.2,3"

    President Trump had recently come back from a visit to Saudi Arabia when, on May 31, 2017, he tweeted: "Despite the negative constant press, covfefe." Originally, people were able to translate "covfefe" to "We will stand up." Taken together, you could see President Trump's tweet basically said, "Despite the negative constant press, we will stand up."

    "People got really excited about that," Vorhies says. "Well, The New York Times decided that they were going to write an entire article saying, 'Actually, this word is nonsense. And everyone who thinks there's a decode is just wrong.'

    The same day that this article came out, I believe it was June 1, 2017, a senior executive person at Google … of one of the AI divisions, wrote up a design document saying, 'We translated this world from Arabic to English. But according to The New York Times, that's not right. That's actually nonsense, so let's get rid of the word.' And so, they got rid of the word.

    The team that was responsible for getting rid of this word called themselves the 'Derrida Team.' Why is that significant? Because there was a French philosopher by the name of Jacques Derrida, who advocated for the destruction of Western culture through the manipulation and censorship of language.

    What a coincidence that this team responsible for censoring words would have the same name as this very significant philosopher who is considered the father of post-modernism.

    About six days later, I saw the newspapers were making a push for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president from office due to mental incapacitation. One of the reasons that they cited was how Trump was tweeting nonsense.

    Now, wait a minute, that was made nonsense by this manipulation of the dictionary! I realized these people have gone too far. There's obviously a collusion here. I have to bring this to attention no matter what.

    This isn't because I'm necessarily a Trump supporter — I didn't vote for him — this is simply because they can't be doing this to a sitting president of the United States. That just can't happen. It's treason.

    If this is going to happen, then I've got to let the public [and] law enforcement know about it. Because if I don't, then I'm part of a conspiracy of silence … It was at that point that I decided I could no longer sit in silence. I took my cache of documents and I started to prepare for a disclosure event."

    YouTube Censorship Has Had Lethal Consequences
    In 2018, the real-world ramifications of censorship hit home when an Iranian YouTube creator who had recently been demonetized marched into YouTube headquarters and opened fire on employees and then shot herself.4

    "Her name was Nasim [Najafi Aghdam]. She had a video that went viral in Iran … She was creating really bizarre videos that were just — I don't know — I watched them and I actually strangely loved them. I couldn't stop watching them. They were so weird.

    She decided that she was going to quit her job and become a full-time content creator, like millions of others … YouTube was the platform to do that. Everyone was getting a lot of subscribers and were trying to generate money, get monetized on the platform …

    They would get a cut of the ads that were running when people interact with the ads or view them … What YouTube did is they made a blanket ban. Anyone under 10,000 subscribers got censored. By censorship, I mean demonetized. They lost all of the funding that they could get for their videos. They can still post videos, they just [cannot] get any money [from Google Ads] for it.

    And so, this person had just lost her job. She felt she was being oppressed by YouTube. She drove all the way from San Diego, came to the YouTube headquarters on 901 Cherry Avenue … came into the lunch area patio, took out a handgun and started firing …

    She shot a couple of people. Ran out of ammo, reloaded and shot some more and then [shot] herself in the chest and [bled] to death … Obviously, this person was mentally deranged but, also, she was triggered by Google's censorship. Now I've got this very personal story about how censorship has affected my safety.

    You would think that maybe YouTube would [rethink] its censorship, but no. They didn't … Every day I would come into work and I would think, 'You know, with this increase in censorship, is someone [else] going to come in with a gun?'"

    Google Attempts to Destroy Vorhies by 'Lawfare'
    Vorhies resigned from Google June 28, 2019, and was immediately put under investigation, as the company had logs showing the many documents he'd been searching for and reading through. Vorhies tells the story of what happened next:

    "When I went to Project Veritas, I went under anonymity. We only released two pages of the 950 that they had [been given]. My hope was that Google would leave me alone … But they decided they weren't going to do that.

    They decided they were going to attempt to financially destroy me by engaging in lawfare, which is warfare via the legal system. Within a few weeks of me disclosing ML Fairness to Project Veritas, they sent me threatening letters, demanding access to all my data outside of work …

    I wrote them back a letter admitting I had retained files, telling them I had given them to law enforcement ... The NDA, the nondisclosure agreement I signed is nonenforceable in cases where the company is committing criminal activity. Sedition is criminal activity, which means that the NDA is null and void.

    I can submit evidence of Google's criminal activity to the government and to the media when the company is engaging in unlawful activity. That's what I did. Also, I signed the NDA in good faith, believing that Google's word of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful and 'Don't be evil,' were truthful statements …

    I met an attorney who was representing Kevin Cernekee, another Google engineer who attempted to blow the whistle in the most legitimate way possible, which was to notify the Federal Labor Relations Authority in California. Kevin gave these papers to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

    Google responded by ambushing him with HR, seizing his laptop, seeing all the documents that he had downloaded, and then firing him and creating a legal theory that he had hacked into Google to get documents so that he could reconstruct Google's legal strategy and maybe even sell it.

    They applied criminal charges against him. They made him defend himself in court for his collection of evidence that he had sent to the NLRB. He's [spent] $100,000 dollars of his own money defending himself [against] Google, so I knew what was in store for me.

    [Cernekee's] lawyer was like, 'Yeah. This is the first step in a very painful process that's going to drive on for years. They're going to make it very expensive. Their goal is to destroy you.' Well, in that case, I'm not going to fight in the legal law. I'm going to fight in the court of public opinion.

    I decided at that point to come out to Project Veritas and disclose who I was so that I could get eyes [on me], and I said, 'If Google's going to take me down, then I'm going to leverage that so that everyone else can see what they do and what they're really about. And then we can make Google's censorship program part of the national discussion.'

    I disclosed everything. I released it to the public, all 950 pages … August 17, 2019 … [I've] tried to become a cultural force so that we can hold Google to account of what they're doing, because their censorship is wrong.

    It's wrong for America. It's anti-American. Their election meddling is something that needs to be looked at, needs to be watched, because they've meddled with the elections in the past. They're meddling in the elections now.

    They were able to deactivate Tulsi Gabbard's ad account directly following the Democratic debates. They've meddled in the Ireland elections. They've meddled in the Brazil elections.

    We know this because there was a Supreme Court ruling that released the evidence showing they had a secret agreement with one of the politicians to generate dirt and boost it up on the current president of Brazil."

    How Autofill Can Shift Political Opinion
    Vorhies goes on to explain and describe how Google tools such as autofill search recommendations can be used to sway public opinion on political (and other topics), which can have significant political consequences.

    Autofill is what happens when you start typing a search query into a search engine and algorithms kick in to offer suggestions to complete your search. We've been led to believe that whatever the autofill recommendations are is what most people are in fact searching for — Google has stated that the suggestions given are generated by a collection of user data — but that's not true, at least not anymore.

    "This story about the autofill first got disclosed by Dr. Robert Epstein, who is a Harvard-trained psychologist and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today," Vorhies explains.

    "What he said was that Google had flipped a bunch of votes for Hillary using this autosuggest feature. I've investigated this claim. I've verified it to be true … It turns out that a lot of the popular searches were being suppressed.

    For example, you typed in 'Clinton body count.' It's a popular search term. This brings up all the people who have died in the decades that were associated with Hillary Clinton.

    Well, this search result has been deleted off the search suggestion. What's happened instead is that a bunch of negative search terms have been inserted that went against the current president of the United States, Donald Trump.

    So, when you're typing in search queries for Trump, it's autocompleting and suggesting, 'Do you mean that he's a liar? That he's a crook?' … And then you do the same for Hillary Clinton and it has all these positive terms … They were doing this on the political stuff.

    The most significant thing about this feature is the fact that you don't expect to have this part of your online experience to be hatched for political reasons. You think that this is legitimately what other people are searching for.

    As a result, you don't have your filters on. Your brain puts on these filters when it starts to evaluate politically charged information. When you read a newspaper article, you may be thinking to yourself, 'This may be true, this may not.' You're skeptical.

    But when you're typing into a search, you don't think that because you don't think that's rigged, so whatever bias is inherent in that search result slips through and goes directly into your subconscious. This is what Epstein was explaining."

    The Search Engine Manipulation Effect
    Epstein developed a "black box test" (a method of software testing) to measure just how influential a tool like autofill can be. Remarkably, his test demonstrated that "Google's 'autocomplete' search suggestions can turn a 50/50 split among undecided voters into a 90/10 split"5,6 — all without anyone being aware of the manipulation.

    Similarly, when Epstein looked at the power of search engine manipulation to shift preferences and perceptions, he found that:7

    "(1) biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, (2) the shift can be much higher in some demographic groups, and (3) such rankings can be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation."

    The good news is, there are ways to lower this manipulation effect, but to do so, people have to be aware that biased ranking is taking place. In his 2017 paper, "Suppressing the Search Engine Manipulation Effect," Epstein writes:8

    "A recent series of experiments demonstrated that introducing ranking bias to election-related search engine results can have a strong and undetectable influence on the preferences of undecided voters.

    This phenomenon, called the search engine manipulation effect (SEME), exerts influence largely through order effects that are enhanced in a digital context.

    We present data from three new experiments involving 3,600 subjects in 39 countries in which we replicate SEME and test design interventions for suppressing the effect. In the replication, voting preferences shifted by 39.0%, a number almost identical to the shift found in a previously published experiment (37.1%).

    Alerting users to the ranking bias reduced the shift to 22.1%, and more detailed alerts reduced it to 13.8%. Users' browsing behaviors were also significantly altered by the alerts, with more clicks and time going to lower-ranked search results.

    Although bias alerts were effective in suppressing SEME, we found that SEME could be completely eliminated only by alternating search results — in effect, with an equal-time rule.

    We propose a browser extension capable of deploying bias alerts in real-time and speculate that SEME might be impacting a wide range of decision-making, not just voting, in which case search engines might need to be strictly regulated."

    As pointed out by Vorhies, "We've got to watch out for Google, because … they're going to try to rig the 2020 elections." Based on Epstein's results, Google certainly appears to have the power to do so. The only way to prevent it may be an information campaign that exposes this hidden agenda, thereby helping to suppress this search engine manipulation effect.

    Do a Google Detox
    How can you prevent getting sucked into the false-reality vortex that is Google? Vorhies offers a number of suggestions for how to minimize Google's influence over your life:

    Stop using Google search. Options include DuckDuckGo9 and Startpage10
    Stop using Gmail. ProtonMail,11 which provides end-to-end encryption and less spam, is an excellent option
    Switch from an android phone (powered by Google) to an iPhone. While not perfect, iPhone is slightly better of the two
    There are alternatives for most if not all Google products, and by using these other companies, we can help them grow so that Google becomes less and less relevant.

    "Use iPhone, use DuckDuckGo and use Protonmail. Those three things will get most of Google out of your life," Vorhies says. "I've been a lot happier because of that. I know [Google is] able to read everything that I write when I'm on Gmail or I'm using one of their services. I've had people who want to interview me on YouTube, and then their YouTube pages get destroyed."

    Also, stop using Google docs (Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives12) and if you're a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts.

    Both the Chrome and Firefox browsers have also been compromised by Google, so consider switching if you're on either of those. Brave is my personal favorite, but the Opera browser is another alternative.13 Vorhies is also a fan of Brave.

    "The guy who created this browser, Brave … added features to eliminate all the ads. Now my MacBook runs like new. I've got a 2012 MacBook. I thought I had to upgrade it in order to make it run fast.

    [Using] Brave instead, my computer operates five times faster when it [has] a lot of browser tabs open. It's phenomenal. Not only do I get to Google detox, but I get a better experience by not using Google. It's a no-brainer. People should just use it. And all of the plug-ins I use, like LastPass, which contains all of my passwords, they all install."

    Support Vorhies' 'Disclosure Tour'
    In the interview, Vorhies recounts a long harrowing incident in which Google instructed local police to perform a mental wellness check on him, which escalated into a full-blown evacuation of the entire street due to a fake bomb threat, confabulated in an effort to get him out of his apartment. To get the full scoop on that story, please listen to the interview above.

    He also discusses how Google's censorship of things like holistic health and clean energy developments is actually evidence that a better future is ahead. The drug and oil industries are starting to lose their grip as safer, less expensive and more effective alternatives are gaining ground. Censorship is a last-ditch effort to hold on to a crumbling paradigm.

    As Vorhies mentioned earlier, his primary focus right now is to raise awareness about Google and to create a cultural force for change. You can help by sharing this article and video, and by following Vorhies on Twitter. His handle is PerpetualManiac (Twitter.com/PerpetualManiac).

    "If you click the follow button, you'll be part of a collection of patriots who are looking to ensure the survival of the republic, to ensure sovereignty and to bring Google to account for the censorship they're doing. People are helping me raise awareness by retweeting the things I'm saying. Because honestly, I'm fighting giants," Vorhies says.

    "If [Google is] going to take me down, then I'm just going to go down fighting. I'm going to leverage everything they do to further the great awakening that's happening right now in the United States and across the world.

    I'm doing that because, ultimately, I'm in service to a higher power … I believe this magnificent creative force in the universe wants people to be free. It's up to us to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy are handed down to our children … our grandchildren and our collective future." "
    - Sources and References
    1 Project Veritas, Google Document Dump
    2 The New York Times May 31, 2017
    3 The New York Times June 1, 2017
    4 CNN April 14, 2018
    5 U.S. Senate, Epstein Testimony (PDF), Page 3
    6 American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, The Search Suggestion Effect 2018(PDF)
    7 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Aug 18; 112(33): E4512–E4521
    8 Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., November 2017; 1(2): Article 42 (PDF)
    9 Fast Company, Inside DuckDuckGo
    10 Startpage.com
    11 ProtonMail
    12 Digital Trends April 28, 2017
    13 Opera Browser
    Last edited by onawah; 17th November 2019 at 20:35.
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    Moderator (on Sabbatical) Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    This is an articulate, comprehensive interview by Rico Brouwer of the Dutch channel Cafe Weltschmerz with researcher Dr Robert Epstein. It covers how Google manipulates and changes people’s minds and thus behaviours through its biased search results and what Google refers to as “ephemeral experiences”.

    Dr Epstein testified before US Congress. This interview includes a brief mention of his research studies conducted in India in 2014, and the US in 2016 and 2018.


    Quote Published on Nov 18, 2019
    How Google manipulates your search results and influences elections worldwide.

    The Minister of the interior in the Netherlands on Oct. 18th 2019 responded to a motion adopted in parliament last year, that called to investigate the ‘effects of social media and internet search engines on our elections’. But rather than answering the question that was asked in the motion, she responded by informing Dutch Parliament of her intent to ‘preemptively prevent disinformation from spreading’, referring to a report she added that labels some hundred Dutch alternative media outlets as outlets of hyperpartisan junknews.

    Over the past seven years dr. Robert Epstein however did investigate this matter by doing two kinds of research. One goes into the ‘Search Engine Manipulation Effect', in which he substantiates to what extent biased search engine result will shift voters opinion. The other is that the actual answers that Google provides voters worldwide with, are in fact biased on a scale that has shifted millions of votes and will do even more in future elections.
    In Café Weltschmerz, Robert Epstein explains to Rico Brouwer how this kind of votes manipulation works, how it is a threat to democracies worldwide and how it may be amended by US Congress or the European Union. The solution is simple. Epstein: ‘They would simply declare that Google’s index, the database that they use to generate search results, must be a public commons’.

    The database underlying Google’s search engine is the most extensive database in the world, however it contains content that was scraped from other people’s websites. So the content in the database isn’t eve theirs.

    For those searching for alternative search platforms or apps, some are listed on:
    * https://switching.software/ethical-a...google-search/...
    * Dr Epstein’s mentions his site mysevensimplesteps.com
    Note about how Startpage searches: it anonymously proxies your search engine questions to the Google searchengine, rather than access the database -or index- of Google directly.
    Startpage was mentioned by ‪Privacytools.io‬ in this nov. 12th article: https://blog.privacytools.io/delisting-startpage/...
    links:
    * In between the Trump and Clinton tweets - https://mobile.twitter.com/DrREpstei...07153989521408...
    * Dutch report ‘THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MANIPULATION’ https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documen...ia-manipulatie...
    * The search engine manipulation effect (SEME) and itspossible impact on the outcomes of elections https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/112/33/E4512.full.pdf...
    * Epstein, R. (2018, ‪May 17‬). Taming Big Tech: The case for monitoring. Hacker Noon. https://hackernoon.com/taming-big-tech-5fef0df0f00d...
    * Epstein, R., & Williams, E. (2019, April). Evidence of systematic political bias in online search results in the 10 days leading up to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Paper presented at the 99th annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Pasadena, CA. https://aibrt.org/downloads/EPSTEIN_..._elections.pdf...
    * testimony before Congress, July 16, 2019, hearing on Google and censorship (7-min. video):https://www.c-span.org/video/?c48078...rrobertepstein...
    * article about how Congress, the DOJ, the FTC, or the EU can quickly and permanently end Google's worldwide monopoly on search: Epstein, R. (2019, ‪Jul 15‬). To break Google's monopoly, make its index public. Bloomberg Businessweek. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...s-index-public...
    * Epstein, R. (2019, ‪July 16‬). Why Google poses a serious threat to democracy, and how to end that threat. Congressional Record of the United States. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo...0Testimony.pdf...
    * Epstein in Glenn Beck show (17 sept 2019) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P5nhXrPVW4Q... // (oct 7 2019) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FReM8Bc3I4k...
    * ‘How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results’(Wall Street Journal, 15 nov. 2019) https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-goo...ts-11573823753...
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    United States Avalon Member onawah's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Google and Big Tech Bought Congress
    50 Attorneys General Take on the World's Biggest Monopoly
    by Dr. Mercola
    1/7/20

    "Many fear this company is getting too large and may have too much control over individuals' personal data. But it's about to get even worse as they branch into banking, in addition to all they're involved with now. This new probe is just the beginning."
    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/a..._rid=785123519

    "STORY AT-A-GLANCE
    Fifty state attorneys general launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s advertising business in September 2019; they are now expanding their probe to include Google’s search and Android businesses as well
    Google is expanding into banking as well. Through a partnership with Citigroup and a San Francisco University credit union, the company is planning to offer checking accounts tied to Google Pay sometime in 2020
    So far, the European Union has taken a far stronger stance against Google’s monopoly. In 2018, it fined Google $5 billion for Android antitrust abuse and, in 2017, the company was fined $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own shopping service over its competitors
    Big Tech is pushing for the inclusion of protection mirroring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in various free trade agreements, to protect them from foreign regulations. Section 230 provides internet platforms liability protection for user-generated content
    While Section 230 makes free speech online possible for everyone, it also allows Google, YouTube and Facebook to filter out and censor whatever they want while still qualifying as a platform rather than a curator of content
    Taking on Google, the biggest monopoly the world has ever seen, is no small task, but 50 state attorneys general are making the effort, having launched an antitrust investigation in September 20191 that will reportedly be expanded to include Google’s search and Android businesses as well.2

    The probe, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, initially focused on the company’s advertising arm and its use of consumer data, but as noted by Recode editor-at-large Kara Swisher in the November 14, 2019, CNBC interview above, it’s virtually impossible to look at Google’s advertising business without entering into search and Android as well, since everything the company does is interconnected.

    “You’re going to see a lot of action everywhere, sort of coalescing around the same things, because some of these problems can be met with regulation, some of them with fines, some of them with antitrust action and some of them with breakup.

    But this is the beginning phase of investigation, and you have to look at search and Android if you’re going to look at advertising when it comes to Google and Facebook and other companies,” Swisher says.

    The legal sidebar document, “Regulating Big Tech: Legal Implications,”3 issued by the Congressional Research Service in September 2019, lists a number of proposed policy changes and what they would accomplish from a legal standpoint.

    Google Moves Into Banking
    Who knows, the attorneys’ general investigation may need to expand even further, as Google is branching into banking as well. Through a partnership with Citigroup and a San Francisco University credit union, the company is planning to offer checking accounts tied to Google Pay sometime in 2020. As reported by CBS News November 13, 2019:4

    “Google's move into checking comes at a time when other Big Tech companies like Apple and Facebook are looking to dive deeper into consumer banking and financial services.

    It's also happening at a time when consumer watchdogs and lawmakers increasingly warn that those same companies are getting too large and may have too much control over Americans' personal data.

    ‘When competition expands that's a good thing,’ said Mike Moebs, a financial services consultant who specializes in bank accounts … ‘Big question that it raises is will Google share that data, and that is a big privacy concern,’ Moebs said …

    Checking accounts could offer Google plenty of new consumer data, including how much people are paid, how much they spend and where and when they spend.”

    When asked for a comment on Google’s expansion into checking accounts, Swisher says, “They just keep going. That’s the thing about these companies … they need growth, and the areas that are big are finance and health care, and you see [them] move into both of these areas in a strong way.”

    Google Files for Order of Protection
    According to CNBC,5 “States can be more aggressive in antitrust investigations than federal regulators, because they are less constrained by the lobbying and political forces that consume Washington, D.C.” That said, Google is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

    Whether any of these probes will lead to significant changes remain to be seen, however. Previous U.S. investigations have fizzled and been dropped.6 The European Union has taken a far stronger stance against the monopoly thus far, issuing a $5 billion fine in July 2018 for Android antitrust abuse.7

    Google was ordered to cease favoring its own company by forcing Android manufacturers to exclusively pre-install the devices with a suite of Google apps. In 2017, the EU also fined Google $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own shopping service over its competitors.8 According to CNBC:9

    “With that track record, the attorneys general investigating Google likely already have a broad vision of the case they wish to pursue against Google.

    They will use their CID [civil investigative demand] requests to seek materials like emails and strategy documents to support that view, while looking for evidence of clear anti-competitive behavior. The requests can be a means of filling in holes in evidence, or a tactic to build up pressure on a company in hopes of forcing a settlement.”

    Personally, I doubt fines will ever set Google on the right path. It’s so big, even fines in the billions of dollars end up being too small to act as a deterrent. The company can make up for such losses in too short a time.

    As reported by CNBC,10,11 Google is also trying to block access to certain information, having filed an order of protection against Texas CIDs requesting information the company deems confidential. In its filing, Google claims two consultants hired by the attorney general have working relationships with competitors, and might misuse the information.
    Internet Companies Seek Protection in Trade Agreements
    Google and other Big Tech companies are also pursuing legal protection via various free trade agreements. As reported by the Los Angeles Times October 16, 2019:12

    “A bipartisan group of lawmakers is stepping up efforts to have U.S. trade officials eliminate a legal liability shield that tech companies are pushing to keep in new agreements, including a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement awaiting approval by Congress …

    The lawmakers … were examining whether tech giants should continue to benefit from Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which provides internet platforms liability protection for user-generated content.

    Online platforms such as Google and Facebook Inc. prize the provision of U.S. law, and their trade groups are also pushing for the extension of similar protections internationally that would unify policy among countries in trade deals such as the pact to replace NAFTA and a proposal for a deal with Japan …

    But Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, chairwoman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, told reporters … that language similar to Section 230 has no place in a trade agreement.

    ‘It is a uniquely American law, and we’re in the midst of a discussion about it, and this is a gift to Big Tech to insert it into trade agreements,’ Schakowsky said …

    The hearing comes amid growing skepticism among lawmakers about whether social media companies should keep the legal protection as a part of U.S. law as they struggle to stem drug and gun sales and offensive content on their platforms.

    Tech companies value the measure because it saves them from having to review users’ posts before they’re published online and then shields them from lawsuits if that content turns out to be problematic, which critics say allows the companies to avoid taking responsibility for dangerous and illegal content.

    Yet the companies emphasized that the law also can protect their moves to remove violence and misinformation, which they say is needed to police their online spaces.”

    The Problem With Global Expansion of Section 230
    The main reason Big Tech wants to insert privileges mirroring those of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act into all future trade deals is to shield them from foreign regulators, The New York Times says, noting that:13

    “Europe has enacted tough policies to curb the behavior of companies like Facebook and Google and passed laws to deal with privacy, hate speech and disinformation. China has largely cordoned itself off from the rest of the internet, allowing Beijing to censor political content and bolster Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent.

    In India, Indonesia, Russia and Vietnam, governments are introducing regulations to ostensibly protect their citizens’ privacy and build domestic internet industries that critics say will stymie the ability of American companies to provide services in those countries. The United States wants its more permissive rules to form the basis for worldwide regulation.”

    American legislators have become increasingly critical of Section 230 in light of Google and other internet platforms’ apparent political biases and ability to hinder the free flow of information from both sides of the political aisle.

    To be clear, a primary problem with Section 230 — and its expansion globally through trade agreements — is that it allows Google, YouTube and Facebook to filter out and essentially censor whatever they want while still qualifying as a platform rather than a curator of content. As reported by R Street:14

    “By clarifying that platforms are not the publisher or speaker of user-generated content, the law allows platforms to moderate user content that serves to harass or stifle the speech of others while giving them the flexibility to leave up potentially controversial but legitimate posts without fear that they will be sued.”

    In short, the law facilitates Google’s bias, and its hiding of bias. That said, Section 230 is also in large part what allows for true free speech online, as illustrated in a July 2019 Reason article,15 and its elimination would make online discussions far riskier, from a legal standpoint, for everyone. As noted by Reason:16

    “Section 230 stipulates, in essence, that digital services or platforms and their users are not one and the same and thus shouldn't automatically be held legally liable for each other's speech and conduct …

    Without it, they would face extraordinary legal liability. A world without Section 230 could sink all but the biggest companies, or force them to severely curtail the speech of their users in order to avoid legal trouble.”

    Do a Google Detox
    Clearly, these are complex issues with no clear and simple answers. While some view Section 230 as a gift to Big Tech, others argue that its removal would impact smaller platforms to a far greater degree than Google, and would stifle free exchange of opinions for fear of liability for offensive content posted by users.

    Whatever happens, if you care about your privacy and unbiased access to information, especially health information, you’d be wise to minimize your Google footprint by ditching its services. Suggestions on how to minimize Google’s influence over your life include:

    Stop using Google search — Options include Qwant,17 DuckDuckGo18 and Startpage19
    Stop using Chrome — Use Brave as an alternative browser. It is based on the same software, chromium, so it is easy to switch your favorites and bookmarks over, but it preserves your privacy
    Stop using Gmail — ProtonMail,20 which provides end-to-end encryption and less spam, is an excellent option
    Switch from an Android phone (powered by Google) to an iPhone — While not perfect, iPhone is slightly better of the two in terms of privacy protections
    There are alternatives for most if not all Google products, and by using these other companies, we can help them grow so that Google becomes less and less relevant. Also, stop using Google docs (Digital Trends has published an article suggesting a number of alternatives21) and if you’re a high school student, do not convert the Google accounts you created as a student into personal accounts."
    - Sources and References
    1 CNET.com September 13, 2019
    2, 5, 6, 9, 10 CNBC November 14, 2019
    3 Congressional Research Service, Regulating Big Tech: Legal Implications, September 11, 2019 (PDF)
    4 CBS News November 13, 2019
    7 CNBC July 18, 2018
    8 CNBC June 27, 2017
    11 CNBC October 31, 2019
    12 Los Angeles Times October 16, 2019
    13 New York Times October 7, 2017 (Archived)
    14 R Street December 17, 2019
    15, 16 Reason July 29, 2019
    17 Qwant
    18 Fast Company, Inside DuckDuckGo
    19 Startpage.com
    20 ProtonMail
    21 Digital Trends April 28, 2017
    Each breath a gift...
    _____________

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  9. Link to Post #65
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    New on Brietbart:
    Google & Twitter Insider: Algorithms Could Censor Entire Trump Movement Simultaneously

    6 Sept, 2020

    An upcoming bombshell book from Breitbart News investigative reporter Allum Bokhari interviews a source that has worked at both Google and Twitter, who exposes how the AI algorithms used by Big Tech platforms are being trained to target conservatives.

    The book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal the Election, will be published by Center Street on September 22, and is currently available for preorder. Sources close to Google and other tech giants say the book will “shake the foundations of Silicon Valley.”

    One former Twitter and Google employee, who spent over a decade working in Big Tech companies, spoke to Bokhari about the “quality ranking” that major tech companies assign their users.

    This secret score, which has eerie similarities to China’s “social credit” system, is used by tech platforms to determine whether their users are a source of value for the company, or whether they are “abusive,” and a detriment to other users.

    The source reveals how the term “abusive,” which previously only applied to non-political behaviors like spamming and the posting of obscene content, has been turned into a tool to train AI algorithms to censor the right.

    These algorithms are being taught, by Big Tech’s most anti-Trump employees, that “abusive” behavior includes things like “hate speech,” “misinformation,” the posting of “conspiracy theories,” and other behaviors subject to highly political definitions.

    The source also alleges that an account’s “quality” score can be lowered simply by following or sharing material from other accounts considered “abusive,” allowing algorithms to censor entire networks of people at the same time.

    The insider goes on to explain how these algorithms are being rolled out across multiple tech platforms, and will result in the wholesale suppression of the Trump movement — just in time for the election.

    #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal the Election hits bookshelves on September 22 and is currently available for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

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    Belgium Moderator Johan (Keyholder)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Interesting thread!

    Has anyone watched "The social dilemma"? If so, what do you think about this documentary?

    And has anyone here read books by Jaron Lanier? If so, what are your ideas about what he writes?

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Quote Posted by Johan (Keyholder) (here)
    Interesting thread!

    Has anyone watched The Social Dilemma? If so, what do you think about this documentary?

    And has anyone here read books by Jaron Lanier? If so, what are your ideas about what he writes?
    Here, in the Avalon Library:


    Also:

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Some statistics:
    • The world's population is 7.8 billion.
    • 4.4 billion are on the internet.
    • 3.9 billion use Google and YouTube.
    • 3 billion use Facebook.
    • Nearly ALL those 3 billion are using all three at the same time.
    TV and radio have little to do with it any more. Google, YouTube and/or Facebook are where half the human race gets almost ALL their information from.

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    Finland Avalon Member Wind's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    The ones who control the algorithms control the flow of information and that way echo chambers are created which further division.

    People are played one off against another, divide and conquer. It's the oldest trick in the book and still works like a charm.
    "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there." ~ George Harrison

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    Scotland Avalon Member Ewan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Some statistics:
    • The world's population is 7.8 billion.
    • 4.4 billion are on the internet.
    • 3.9 billion use Google and YouTube.
    • 3 billion use Facebook.
    • Nearly ALL those 3 billion are using all three at the same time.
    TV and radio have little to do with it any more. Google, YouTube and/or Facebook are where half the human race gets almost ALL their information from.

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    UK Avalon Member Mike Gorman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    This is an extremely "On Point" topic.
    We were discussing the monopoly of Google way back at the turn of this Century; I remember it very well!
    I have written quite a few articles and pieces where I describe the Silicon Valley's dominance of mass media (because digital media types are today's true Mass Media)
    as being very much like The Borg.
    Resistance is futile, your culture will be assimilated and contribute to the overall nature of this dominant voice!
    I know that sounds flippant, but I think it has more than a ring of truth.
    The really interesting feature of the WWW, and one that is not discussed very widely, is the exponential effect of publication.
    With the Web we have this enormously powerful medium for publishing: it is the Printing Press amplified many thousands of times. And we all know what effect the Printing Press had on our world:
    It enabled our modern world to manifest.
    While I am pessimistic about the passing of the torch, the replication of the media gatekeepers from the old Broadcast world, I am also optimistic about the 'net Effect' of independent publication.
    The fact that we can come together on this platform is an example of this, Avalon has not been smudged out, or prevented from existing by Silicon Valley.
    There are in reality Millions of blogs, and independent publications out there, and the fact that we can discuss - analyse in real time WHAT we consume, is in itself a positive thing.
    There is hope and great potential from being able to publish - that gatekeeper has truly been vanquished, and this is why they work so hard to collectivise us all on the social media locations.
    But millions are not complying, millions are seeking out alternatives, 10's of thousands are setting up independent projects. And all of this has an exponential effect. Despite Silicon Valley's dominance, they cannot
    truly contain the voice of humanity, and they never shall.

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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Amazon decide what you're going to see

    Not forgetting Amazon either. of course.

    From Svetlana's site
    Born in Moscow, British historian and intelligence expert Svetlana Lokhova is a leading authority on Soviet espionage. A scholar at Cambridge University, she is an eyewitness to Spygate. She regularly appears in the media both in the US and UK.

    As a Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, Lokhova worked extensively with the “Mitrokhin Archive”—the only publicly-available source of KGB records.
    And confirmation of the attempts to continue the burning of the books:



    It can be purchased here, presumably: https://www.spygate-exposed.com/prod...-exposed-pdf-1
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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