Throughout history, several entities have monopolized vast amounts of wealth and or control, but never has any one entity had as much control and influence in any given time as that of Google. Google once was a place were ideas could flourish from all sides of the spectrum, but as the corporation garnered more influence, it levied more control upon its users and employees.
Over the last several years, the vast majority of people in the developed Western world have queried Google’s servers for an answer or two; but now when does an individual not use Google for an answer? Google records that over 40,000 search queries happen every second on average, that number translates to 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. In 2013, over 1.52 billion people were recorded as using Google which was 77% of all people who queried a search engine. In addition, it is safe to say, that Google’s dominance in the past four years has only climbed.
The alarming dominance of Google is one thing, but when Google’s doors were open to all ideological sides of the spectrum it’s easy to wipe off just how powerful Google actually is because the corporation respected free speech and ideological diversity.
However upon closer examination several people over the last few years have sounded the alarm over just how bad Google’s control of information really is, and such is only being realized now by the vast majority of people in 2017.
Historically, when a regime, an empire, or government sought to control the flow of information, it was for the purpose of propping up the controlling entity and demonizing the opposing entity. Some examples of such are the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and many other socialist and communist regimes throughout the 20th century. One of the organizations during that time was the Eastern Bloc also known as the Communist Bloc and Soviet Bloc.
In modern times, the 21st century, information censorship is still being carried out by governments such as China or North Korea, these two countries are regarded as some of the worst abusers of human rights, and it is no coincidence that they are both communist regimes.
What began as a personalized bubble, morphed into an echo chamber, and has now changed into a ‘propagandized bubble.’ Originally, when a person queried Google whatever was the closest match was the first answer, then whatever matched their ideology in addition to the closest match became the first answer. Now, regardless of personalization and the closest match only a one sided answer, that is the closest match is presented to the user. It’s as if Google’s suggestions and answers are no longer based on the information request but rather on Google’s bias and their ideology.
So why is it, in the Western World, that censorship is present? Why is a corporation interested in monopolizing the flow of information? And most of all why are Google’s actions resembling that of a communist regimes?
Ideological control, i.e., brain washing, is extremely dangerous; yet Google gets away with it thousands of times per second. Ideological diversity is vital to a free society, yet Google controls what it considers to be correct and what it considers to be incorrect. Bias, especially confirmation bias, is a threat to freedom and is a threat to the United States. When a corporation controls the flow of information, it is important to know the bias of that organization, and with Google, their bias is flagrantly left.
However, now, its not only conservatives who are beginning to notice just how totalitarian Google is beginning to act, in fact, so are outlets like the Washington Post;
The following was written by Zephyr Teachout an associate professor of law at Fordham University.
About ten years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: “To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.”
Wu was right. And now, Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power. It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent.
When Google was founded in 1998, it famously committed itself to the motto: “Don’t be evil.” It appears that Google may have lost sight of what being evil means, in the way that most monarchs do: Once you reach a pinnacle of power, you start to believe that any threats to your authority are themselves villainous and that you are entitled to shut down dissent. As Lord Acton famously said, “Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.” Those with too much power cannot help but be evil. Google, the company dedicated to free expression, has chosen to silence opposition, apparently without any sense of irony.
In recent years, Google has become greedy about owning not just search capacities, video and maps, but also the shape of public discourse. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, Google has recruited and cultivated law professors who support its views. And as the New York Times recently reported, it has become invested in building curriculum for our public schools, and has created political strategy to get schools to adopt its products.
It is time to call out Google for what it is: a monopolist in search, video, maps and browser, and a thin-skinned tyrant when it comes to ideas.
Google is forming into a government of itself, and it seems incapable of even seeing its own overreach. We, as citizens, must respond in two ways. First, support the brave researchers and journalists who stand up to overreaching power; and second, support traditional antimonopoly laws that will allow us to have great, innovative companies — but not allow them to govern us. – Read More
Google has become so powerful that some are comparing Google’s control and influence to that of a government. In the United States, regardless of Google’s power and influence, they must obey the laws, especially that of free speech. In addition, conservative voices, Christian voices, and many others are being censored by Google, being demonized by Google, and being thrown off of their platforms by Google.
But that’s not perhaps what makes Google, now Alphabet inc., so dangerous, but rather the fact that the corporation is in part attempting to play the role of ‘the final authority.’ To most Americans that final authority, the supreme authority, is found at the alter of their choosing; to the Christian, the final authority is Jesus Christ.
Instead of an unbiased approach, a median for answers, like say a library, Google is dishing out answers to the point where no argument can be made against their choice of an answer. Such ideological authority is very dangerous in the hands of a tyrant, and Google, as many are seeing, is acting just like a tyrant from the 20th century.
Case in point, James Damore, a software engineer fired from Google for simply having a different opinion.
James Demore, advocated a few simple points in the above memo, all of which were scientifically correct, yet he was ridiculed by the tech giant and fired for disagreeing with culture. Google’s response to the employee is alarming for one simple reason, James was factually correct, yet Google, acting in part as the final authority disregarded the facts and slanted with culture. If the tech giant behaves in such a way with its employees what’s to say it doesn’t act that way when it comes to dishing out a simple answer in response to a query.
Being that Google has now proven that facts and evidence are irrelevant to their bias it is wise to assume that answers coming from a simple Google search are slanted the same way, away from the truth.
Zephyr Teachout. “How I Got Fired From a D.C. Think Tank for Fighting Against the Power of Google.” The Intercept. . (2017): . .
Charlie Nash. “Quillette: Psychologists Claim Google Viewpoint Diversity Manifesto Is Scientifically Accurate.” Breitbart. . (2017): . .
The Guardian. “ Google dominates search. But the real problem is its monopoly on data .” The Guardian. . (2017): . .