Another leak from inside Google shows how the company justifies censoring users, which continues the trend of big tech companies trying to silence opinions they disagree with.
An 85-page document called “The Good Censor” leaked from within Google and published by Breitbart, shows the considerations Google makes when deciding to censor users.
The title of the document should be enough to terrify anyone. The title implies that censorship could be a good thing.
According to Breitbart, “an official Google source said the document should be considered internal research, and not an official company position.” Maybe so, but that’s not very comforting.
In the document, Google justifies censorship online by outlining how users are “behaving badly.”
One of the bad behaviors prominently listed is “trolling.”
“By provoking arguments and flaming disruption, trolls threaten valuable debate and infuriate users. The problem has become so rampant that several websites have even resorted to removing comments entirely,” the document states.
It seems like Google is afraid of users freely debating online.
The beauty of the internet is the ability to debate with any random lunatic who has any random viewpoint while having the freedom to get up and walk away from your computer at any point.
If someone is “infuriated” because of a differing opinion, that’s not a reason to censor the internet. The “infuriated” party can just walk away from the computer. It’s quite simple.
Google also makes the claim that “rational debate” is diminished when “authoritative voices” have an equal weight as everyone else’s voices.
“And rational debate is damaged when authoritative voices and ‘have a go’ commentators receive equal weighing,” the document states.
This is worrisome. Google seems to be expressing desire to suppress opinions that aren’t “authoritative.” Furthermore, who is to decide who the “authoritative” voices are?
This newly released document seems to fall in line with Google’s plan of action outlined in a secret meeting shortly after President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
In 2016, Google leadership cried about how “offensive” Trump was and promised to advance Google’s values.
Considering the abuse coming their way from big tech companies, it’s not a surprise that conservatives around the world are calling for more transparency and less censorship on the internet.
Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, has been particularly vocal about censorship from big tech companies.
“We need a Social Media Bill of Rights to protect free speech online,” Farage wrote on Twitter in August.
We need a Social Media Bill of Rights to protect free speech online. https://t.co/qlzcAjpIwZ
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 10, 2018
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that something needs to be done to protect all voices and speech online.
Instead of trying to censor users who are “behaving badly,” big tech and the left should try leaving their safe spaces and engaging in debate.
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