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Thread: How Google, Facebook, Yahoo decide what you're going to see

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    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Yahoo decide what you're going to see

    Breaking ranks: Facebook engineer quits over company's 'intolerant, political monoculture'

    Sputnik
    Thu, 11 Oct 2018 12:18 UTC



    US social media firms are often accused by conservatives of deliberately silencing and censoring non-liberal voices on their platforms.

    The Facebook engineer who sparked a major controversy at the company with his criticism of what he called a "political monoculture" that is "intolerant" of conservatism, is leaving the company.
    "We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack - often in mobs - anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology," Brian Amerige, an engineering manager for product usability wrote in an August 2018 internal memo to his colleagues.
    He decried Facebook's policy of balancing offensive and hateful speech with free expression and its acceptance of government regulation.
    "We've refused to defend ourselves in the press. Our policy strategy is pragmatism - not clear, implementable long-term principles - and our PR strategy is appeasement - not morally earned pride and self-defense," Amerige emphasized.

    "I disagree too strongly with where we're heading on these issues to watch what happens next," he added.

    Facebook engineer Brian Amerige has called out the site's political 'intolerance', claiming staff attack colleagues who do not conform to liberal opinions.

    The memo led to the creation of an internal group, on Facebook's Workplace message board, "FB'ers for Political Diversity," where hundreds of conservative employees vented their frustration over the company's practices.

    Some Facebook employees are known to have refused to work with or talk to certain colleagues because of their political beliefs.

    Democrats and other liberals refute allegations of anti-conservative bias at tech firms using as an example a recent party celebrating conservative Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the US Supreme Court that was hosted by a top Facebook lobbyist.

    They also point to the donations made by Google to the conservative group Federalist Society.

    Silicon Valley, which is at the heart of America's high-tech industry, has been accused of liberal bias.

    Many Republicans are faulting social media firms for deliberately silencing and censoring non-liberal voices on their platforms, which the companies deny.

    In September, President Donald Trump said that algorithms developed by the likes of Google and Facebook fail to offer consumers politically-balanced news about American politics and his presidency.

    In July 2017, Google found itself at the center of a political scandal after engineer James Damore wrote an internal post slamming what he described as "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," in which he argued that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women.

    The memo and Damore's subsequent dismissal in August 2017 were widely discussed in the media.


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  3. Link to Post #42
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    Default Re: How Google, Facebook, Yahoo decide what you're going to see

    Supreme Court hearing case that could end Internet censorship, expand scope of the First Amendment

    Carmine Sabia Citizen Truth
    Wed, 17 Oct 2018 06:21 UTC



    After the recent purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

    The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet forever.

    Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor, CNBC reported.

    The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

    The Court decided to take the case on Friday and it is the first case that was taken after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court.

    DeeDee Halleck and Jesus Melendez claimed that they were fired from Manhattan Neighborhood Network for speaking critically of the network. And, though the case does not involve the Internet giants, it could create a ruling that expands the First Amendment beyond the government.
    "We stand at a moment when the very issue at the heart of this case - the interplay between private entities, nontraditional media, and the First Amendment - has been playing out in the courts, in other branches of government, and in the media itself," the attorneys from MNN wrote in their letter to the Court asking it to take the case.
    The Court could either rule in MNN's favor, rule against it in a narrow scope that does not affect other companies, or it could rule in a broad manner that would prevent the abilities of private networks and Internet companies to limit or censor speech on their platforms.

    Censorship, Free Speech or Enforcing Company Policy
    It comes at a time when Facebook has purged around 800 independent media pages in one day. The media outlets ranged the spectrum from far left to far right and many that either had no political affiliation or were not extreme in their politics. Facebook claimed that the pages were engaged in "inauthentic behavior" and as a private company it does not have to answer to anyone regarding how it enforces its terms of service.

    ACLU attorney Vera Eidelman said Facebook, as a private company, can enforce their terms however it sees fit, but that could result in serious free speech consequences.
    "Drawing the line between 'real' and 'inauthentic' views is a difficult enterprise that could put everything from important political parody to genuine but outlandish views on the chopping block," Eidelman said.

    "It could also chill individuals who only feel safe speaking out anonymously or pseudonymously."
    The MNN case could change that and force Facebook, and other companies, to protect users First Amendment rights.
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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