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Google employees discussed modifying search results to contradict Trump travel ban

By Greg S ยท 45 replies
Sep 21, 2018
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  1. Search engines are critical tools of the internet that make it possible to discover new content. Although social media now plays a larger part in content discovery, search engines are still responsible for an astoundingly large amount of web traffic. Google is often the "go to" search engine and keeps a tight lid on how exactly its ranking algorithms work in the name of preventing manipulation.

    Google has very good reasons as to why its internal ranking system is not explained to the public, but this lack of transparency also has other implications. As a company with vast influence across the entire planet, Google's search results can quickly change public perception of events. As discovered by the Wall Street Journal, Google employees were found to be discussing how to intentionally manipulate search results to counter President Donald Trump's travel ban.

    Following executive orders to restrict immigration from certain countries, emails between Google employees show discussion on how to best oppose the plan. In a brainstorming chain of emails, words such as Islam, Iran, Muslim, Mexico, Hispanic, Latino, and others were suggested to trigger ads for groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and display other resources opposing the travel ban.

    Internal communications do contain warnings about participating in politically motivated activities and that there is an expectation of neutrality, but these cautionary notes did not put an end to the conversation. One Googler writes, "I know this would require a full on sprint to make happen, but I think this is the sort of super timely and imperative information that we need as we know that this country, and Google, would not exist without immigration."

    Although Google is adamant that none of these ideas were ever implemented, it does raise some questions as to why Google would not put a stop to any such discussions immediately to protect their reputation from being dragged through the mud. Despite the fact that there is no known wrongdoing, Google has come extremely close to abusing its platform.

    Permalink to story.

  2. kombu

    kombu TS Addict Posts: 91   +182

    Yes, Google and America would not exist if it were not for immigration from Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, Libya and Iran.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,475   +3,034

    Execute order 66.
    VinnyC likes this.
  4. Carljames

    Carljames TS Rookie

    When trump twitted that google was manipulating search result, the shameless media started a thread to highlight trumps "paranoia and ignorance" .The truth is out now...everybody hates Trump because he speaks the blunt truth.
    JamesSWD, Eddie777, dms96960 and 11 others like this.
  5. Bluescreendeath

    Bluescreendeath TS Maniac Posts: 138   +216

    The fact that they included Mexico and Hispanics on their discussion list when Central & South America was entirely unaffected shows they probably didn't even know much about the travel ban.
    dms96960, psycros and kombu like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +805

    Lol @ Google.... or more likely, the millennials working there. They might as well just put political banners all over the search results page.
    JamesSWD, Eddie777, dms96960 and 5 others like this.
  7. Duke9192

    Duke9192 TS Enthusiast Posts: 20   +26

    Thank you techspot for this article. Over the past few years I have lost confidence in news media coverage I see, including articles on your website, relative to left leaning bias. I want to personally say that I appreciate this post by you guys because I feel that it is simply stating facts without intentionally omitting details, or adding a biased perspective. Good job, and I'll turn my ad blocker off now.
    Eddie777, dms96960, VinnyC and 5 others like this.
  8. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    This was just a series of emails discussing an idea. Not actual implementation.
    Capaill and wiyosaya like this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,963   +2,273

    While I am not at all a fan of Humpty Trumpty, I do not in the least condone any actions like this from gagme. I avoid gagme as much as possible right now; articles like this convince me that such avoidance is justified. gagme, and it sounds like at least some of its employees, are complete parasitic scum. Even that they just discussed this is exceptionally disturbing to me. A god complex is never a good thing.
    psycros likes this.
  10. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,710   +2,509

    Why is this even a surprise? Google and Facebook have been caught manipulating feeds and results time after time, and always to further a corporate globalist-socialist agenda.
    dms96960 and senketsu like this.
  11. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 893   +497

    Really? Show me how Google manipulated the search results then.
  12. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 813   +399

    That would kill google. Google became popular by giving the popular answers. Once they stop doing it, people will start looking else where, and someone will be happy to give them this.
  13. thatsfunny

    thatsfunny TS Rookie

    We're all immigrant stupid!

    How do you know we didn't brought here and or came here from a distant stars?
    wiyosaya likes this.
  14. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 235   +59

    Source of the emails : NSA
  15. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,558   +548

    All I know is the 9\11 attackers came from Saudi Arabia yet it did not make the list.
  16. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 767   +292

    All-things media are manipulated. Such is the nature of the Beast. Hint. Hint.
  17. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 663   +553

    Don't be evil.

    Or whatever.
  18. I know we are not, the same way you know the above ..
  19. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 677   +658

    What do you think Socialist means? I keep seeing people throw this term in their arguments and you seriously must misunderstand the term if you equate it with the agenda of Facebook or Google. Their business model is pure capitalism, they spend multi-millions of dollars every year to avoid regulation - ie State involvement - which is entirely anti-socialist.

    Socialism built your roads, it keeps your street lights on, it pays for healthcare (at least, for the elderly in the US, 'cos screw everyone else amirite?). All the best societies on the planet are fundamentally capitalistic but heavily tempered by socialism.

    Anyway - on topic: I think people are acting with the same wilful 'outrage' at this as they complain others do about social issues. Staff talk. I'm sure a few employees have discussed such gems as: wouldn't it be great if our boss got hit by a bus?; wouldn't you just love to send a terrible email to that customer who pissed you off?; I bet our CEO is sleeping with our CFO's wife!

    People chat **** at work: Breaking news guys!
    Danny101, wiyosaya and Capaill like this.
  20. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 679   +492

    No, everybody hates Trump because he makes up his own news and calls REAL news "fake news". Your post is a perfect example of how people believe his crap with no proof whatsoever. As previously mentioned, this article is about a conversation, not anything they actually did.
    wiyosaya and Capaill like this.
  21. Eddie777

    Eddie777 TS Rookie

    Why do you liberals insist on name calling to belittle anyone who does not fit into your belief system? It really is very infantile and ironically indicative of the 'god complex' you apparently dislike.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,963   +2,273

    1st Amendment rights.

    BTW - Calling someone a "liberal" is name calling, too, which means you have no high-road here. However, I support your 1st Amendment rights to do so.

    Have a nice day!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    Capaill likes this.
  23. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 677   +658

    Yes like Donald Trump, that huge liberal, who coined: Crooked Hillary, Lyin' Ted, Failed Obama, "Al Frankenstein", Little Rocket Man, Slippery James Comey, Chelsea "Ungrateful TRAITOR" Manning, "Crazy" Joe Biden, Jeff "Mr Magoo" Sessions, Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren.

    Truly, t'is the """liberals""" who doth name too harshly.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  24. Eddie777

    Eddie777 TS Rookie

  25. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 677   +658

    Hahah thankfully he's not "my leader" as I'm not an American. And I like that your point was "hey don't do name calling, why do liberals always resort to name calling!" then when presented with loads of it from your side you've said "well yeah that's fine". Cognitive dissonance can be a real b*tch.

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