Silicon Valley Censorship

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Samuel Westrop via The Gatestone Institute,

  • If it is ever "toxic" to deem ISIS a terrorist organization, then -- regardless of whether that is the result of human bias or an under-developed algorithm -- the potential for abuse, and for widespread censorship, will always exist. The problem lies with the very concept of the idea. Why does Silicon Valley believe it should decide what is valid speech and what is not?
  • Conservative news, it seems, is considered fake news. Liberals should oppose this dogma before their own news comes under attack. Again, the most serious problem with attempting to eliminate hate speech, fake news or terrorist content by censorship is not about the efficacy of the censorship; it is the very premise that is dangerous.
  • Under the guidance of faulty algorithms or prejudiced Silicon Valley programmers, when the New York Times starts to delete or automatically hide comments that criticize extremist clerics, or Facebook designates articles by anti-Islamist activists as "fake news," Islamists will prosper and moderate Muslims will suffer.

Google's latest project is an application called Perspective, which, as Wired reports, brings the tech company "a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices." In other words, Google is teaching computers how to censor.

If Google's plans are not quite Orwellian enough for you, the practical results are rather more frightening. Released in February, Perspective's partners include the New York Times, the Guardian, Wikipedia and the Economist. Google, whose motto is "Do the Right Thing," is aiming its bowdlerism at public comment sections on newspaper websites, but the potential is far broader.

Perspective works by identifying the "toxicity level" of comments published online. Google states that Perspective will enable companies to "sort comments more effectively, or allow readers to more easily find relevant information." Perspective's demonstration website currently allows anyone to measure the "toxicity" of a word or phrase, according to its algorithm. What, then, constitutes a "toxic" comment?

The organization with which I work, the Middle East Forum, studies Islamism. We work to tackle the threat posed by both violent and non-violent Islamism, assisted by our Muslim allies. We believe that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution.

Perspective does not look fondly at our work:


Google's Perspective application, which is being used by major media outlets to identify the "toxicity level" of comments published online, has much potential for abuse and widespread censorship.

No reasonable person could claim this is hate speech.

But the problem does not just extend to opinions. Even factual statements are deemed to have a high rate of "toxicity." Google considers the statement "ISIS is a terrorist group" to have an 87% chance of being "perceived as toxic."

Or 92% "toxicity" for stating the publicly-declared objective of the terrorist group, Hamas:

Google is quick to remind us that we may disagree with the result. It explains that, "It's still early days and we will get a lot of things wrong." The Perspective website even offers a "Seem Wrong?" button to provide feedback.

These disclaimers, however, are very much beside the point. If it is ever "toxic" to deem ISIS a terrorist organization, then -- regardless of whether that figure is the result of human bias or an under-developed algorithm -- the potential for abuse, and for widespread censorship, will always exist.

The problem lies with the very concept of the idea. Why does Silicon Valley believe it should decide what is valid speech and what is not?

Google is not the only technology company enamored with censorship. In June, Facebook announced its own plans to use artificial intelligence to identify and remove "terrorist content." These measures can be easily circumvented by actual terrorists, and how long will it be before that same artificial intelligence is used to remove content that Facebook staff find to be politically objectionable?

In fact, in May 2016, the "news curators" at Facebook revealed that they were ordered to "suppress news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network's influential 'trending' news section." And in December 2016, Facebook announced it was working to "address the issue of fake news and hoaxes" published by its users. The Washington Free Beacon later revealed that Facebook was working with a group named Media Matters on this issue. In one of its own pitches to donors, Media Matters declares its dedication to fighting "serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists." The leaked Media Matters document states it is working to ensure that "Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists." Media Matters also claims to be working with Google.

Conservative news, it seems, is considered fake news. Liberals should oppose this dogma before their own news comes under attack. Again, the most serious problem with attempting to eliminate hate speech, fake news or terrorist content by censorship is not about the efficacy of the censorship; it is the very premise that is dangerous.

Under the guidance of faulty algorithms or prejudiced Silicon Valley programmers, when the New York Times starts to delete or automatically hide comments that criticize extremist clerics, or Facebook designates articles by anti-Islamist activists as "fake news," Islamists will prosper and moderate Muslims will suffer.

Silicon Valley has, in fact, already proven itself incapable of supporting moderate Islam. Since 2008, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) has granted $330,524 to two Islamist organizations, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Relief. Both these groups are designated terrorist organizations in the United Arab Emirates. SVCF is America's largest community foundation, with assets of over $8 billion. Its corporate partners include some of the country's biggest tech companies -- its largest donation was $1.5 billion from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The SVCF is Silicon Valley.

In countries such as China, Silicon Valley has previously collaborated with the censors. At the very least, it did so because the laws of China forced it to comply. In the European Union, where freedom of expression is superseded by "the reputation and rights of others" and the criminalization of "hate speech" (even where there is no incitement to violence), Google was ordered to delete certain data from search results when a member of the public requests it, under Europe's "right to be forgotten" rules. Rightly, Google opposed the ruling, albeit unsuccessfully.

But in the United States, where freedom of speech enjoys protections found nowhere else in the world, Google and Facebook have not been forced to introduce censorship tools. They are not at the whim of paranoid despots or unthinking bureaucrats. Instead, Silicon Valley has volunteered to censor, and it has enlisted the help of politically partisan organizations to do so.

This kind of behavior sends a message. Earlier this year, Facebook agreed to send a team of staff to Pakistan, after the government asked both Facebook and Twitter to help put a stop to "blasphemous content" being published on the social media websites. In Pakistan, blasphemy is punishable by death.

Google, Facebook and the rest of Silicon Valley are private companies. They can do with their data mostly whatever they want. The world's reliance on their near-monopoly over the exchange of information and the provision of services on the internet, however, means that mass-censorship is the inevitable corollary of technology companies' efforts to regulate news and opinion.

At a time when Americans have little faith in the mass media, Silicon Valley is now veering in a direction that will evoke similar ire. If Americans did not trust the mass media before, what will they think once that same media is working with technology companies not just to report information Silicon Valley prefers, but to censor information it dislikes?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ACP's picture

Off topic - but very important:

Bundy supporter sentenced to 68 years for protesting the government:

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/bundy-blm/bundy-supporter-burleson-se...

 

stizazz's picture

Joogle is trying to protect Joowitch lies.

moimeme's picture

Or Apartheid IsraHell.

stizazz's picture

Yep! Instead we get brainwashing statement like:

Radical Islam is a problem.

Et tu ZH.

moimeme's picture

Yeah. Isn't it strange that ZH never criticizes Apartheid IsraHell, nor does it ever mention Jewish control of the Fed? But always find a way to sneak in anti-Islam propaganda.

Mmm....

chumbawamba's picture

Reddit already has this feature.  It can identify and eliminate offensive comments within moments of posting.  It's called Weaponized Snowflakes.

But this is just a bunch of whiny Jewism.  It seems like Perspective isn't decided yet on whether Israel is the good guy or ISIS is the bad.  I'm sure with lots more whiny Jew articles by the MEF like this one fed into it then it'll eventually skew to the correct zionist bias.

I am Chumbawamba.

Four chan's picture

DO THE JEWS ALWAYS NAME THINGS IRONICALLY BECAUSE SINCE THEY ONLY LIE THE NAME PERSPECTIVE SEEMS TO THEM UNIRONIC? 

 

LITERALLY STILL TRYING TO UPHOLD THE HOLOHOAX, A THING SO REAL, ITS ILLEGAL TO QUESTION IT.

FreddieX's picture

Perhaps ZH has experienced this as well:

 

FWIW:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/27/goog-j27.html

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites By Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth
27 July 2017

In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.

On April 25, 2017, Google announced that it had implemented changes to its search service to make it harder for users to access what it called “low-quality” information such as “conspiracy theories” and “fake news.”

The company said in a blog post that the central purpose of the change to its search algorithm was to give the search giant greater control in identifying content deemed objectionable by its guidelines. It declared that it had “improved our evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates” in order “to surface more authoritative content.”

...

Three months later, out of the 17 sites declared to be “fake news” by the Washington Post ’s discredited blacklist, 14 had their global ranking fall. The average decline of the global reach of all of these sites is 25 percent, and some sites saw their global reach fall by as much as 60 percent.

“The actions of Google constitute political censorship and are a blatant attack on free speech,” North stated. “At a time when public distrust of establishment media is widespread, this corporate giant is exploiting its monopolistic position to restrict public access to a broad spectrum of news and critical analysis.”

BennyBoy's picture

 

"according to its algorithm"

Eliminate the alogrithm 

Common_Law's picture

Imagine how thorough they'd be if they were directly invested in the topic. 

Like, every revenue stream causing physical harm to all their coustmers through electromagnetic radiation.

http://www.bioinitiative.org/table-of-contents/

For those who don't believe it, even the fed gov. admits it has severe negative health effects. Their radar operators hept having alot of health problems and they investigated because high turnover rates are expensive. We're exposed to alot more than those radar operators were, and ours are 24/7.

NoDebt's picture

I read this crap and realize just how fragile and tenuous their level of "control" really is.  They may have an overwhelming number of sheep willing to go along with this shit, but when the time comes, they are still just sheep- docile and passive.  They pose no threat.  When the shit hits the fan, they'll fall in line whoever stands up and actually leads.  

I'm done giving a shit about crap like this.  I do not fear these people.  I don't even think about them, quite honestly.  They are irrelevant.

 

red1chief's picture

But the neocons feed of you worrying about this irrelevant crap. 

AlexCharting's picture

Someday a clever programmer will make the antithesis to this soft effeminate bs. 

fattail's picture

I wish Ad Blocker had a fake user profile setting.  So that not only would  Ads not be seen, all the "data" FB and GOOG collected would be so junky nobody would even buy it.  

Oh regional Indian's picture

GOOGLE = GO OGLE

Like all joo enterprises, it's all about smut in the end.

If smut is the largest market on the web, guess who makes the most money sending seekers to their chosen brand of smut?

Yeah, all this other stuff is just more control....

it's all about the smut....

red1chief's picture

The neocon Gatestone Institute sponsored this article. Gatestone is of course run by neocon John Bolton. If ISIS is so toxic, why do the neocons support them? If the neocons stopped meddling in Syria, Assad and the Russians would take care of ISIS quickly. Then the warmonger neocons would have to go to all that trouble to find and support the next boogie men and they just hate that!

OverTheHedge's picture

How could Gatestone Institute constantly whip up fear and loathing of ALL Muslims (this is the first time I have heard that they don't have a problem with "moderate Islam"), if Google starts to censor their output, and the comments to their propaganda?

If Tyler installed some spam filtering, we would all be delighted, but it is still censorship.

quesnay's picture

ISIS is toxic AND the neocons support them. You state this like it's a contradiction when it is actually a completely symbiotic love-affair.

Therefore something in your premise is wrong i.e. is Gatestone really neocon? I don't know. I don't read them. Obviously this specific article is the opposite of neocon.

NAV's picture

Gatestone is a neocon propaganda machine. Gatestone’s raison d’etre is to demonize and exterminate  Muslims to make way for the US/Israeli Empire.

A New York-based advocacy organization ,"it was founded in 2011 by Nina Rosenwald, an heiress of the Sears Roebuck empire who has been a key philanthropic backer of anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the United States. Describing Gatestone's origins, journalist Max Blumenthal writes: "Through her affiliation with the Washington-based Hudson Institute, where Norman Podhoretz is an adjunct fellow, Rosenwald established a branch of the think tank in New York City. Operating under the Hudson banner, Rosenwald brought [the controversial anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders] to town in 2008 to warn against the Muslim plot to 'rule the world by the sword.' Wilders's tirade during that visit against the prophet Muhammad, whom he described as 'a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile,' was strident even by the standards of the hawkish Hudson Institute. By 2011 … Rosenwald separated Hudson New York City from Hudson's national branch, changing her organization's name to the Gatestone Institute."[2]

- See more at: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/gatestone_institute#sthash.omhUP8nQ.dpuf

Akzed's picture

Type anything you want to see how "toxic" Google deems it to be.

"islam means peace" is 4% toxic.

"the talmud is anti-christ" is 44% toxic.

"zionism is racist" is 97% toxic.

"Jesus is lord" is 17% toxic.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Fight Club don't need that shitty shit.

MuffDiver69's picture

One thing that separates this country from all the other majority white is we will use violence if necessary..President Trump made an interesting statement about what happens if his people demonstrate etc...That's when they will get it...That's when their plans fail...Nothing like the sound of a bullet to get some of these folks right...I look at the average democrats I see and laugh..They play act..They are literaly sheep...The idea of the military or police revolts them yet they feel the right to be protected by 'someone' ..It's all laughable..

venturen's picture

Obama is a terrorists.

They censor a lot more GOP and independent voices than Islamic terrorists. FaceBook bans you for anything about Obama....I mean ANYTHING

Meanwhile rant about trump with any abuse....fine with them

 

1984!

GooseShtepping Moron's picture

Google can kiss my tight, White, sexy ass. Did you censor that? Didn't think so. Fuck you, Google. With a bottle brush. Up the asshole.

Ignatius's picture

Google/youtube are systematically taking down videos and eliminating accounts for those who highlight evidence of the frauds such as Sandy Hook, Boston, Orlando and the like.  Smell the desperation.

This ISIS shit is 95% bullshit and 5% idiot dupes.

JustAboutThatActionBoss's picture

Perspective?

 

Who's perspective?

 

I have a different perspective. Let that opinion thru the gates.

Fucking idoits.

Snaffew's picture

they should rename Perspective to "Mind Control".  Essentially, this is a gov't program endorsed by the NSA to wipe out the possibility of an anti-government thoughts ever reaching the minds of the ignorant masses.  George Orwell is doing some serious groaning right niow. (Perspective would eliminate this entire comment)

NAV's picture

Lenin, too, controlled the press to censor the news and hide the truth regarding those who overthrew Russia’s government.

Google is a radical alt-left organization; its Jewish co-founder, Russian-born Sergey Brin, follows in the footsteps of Lenin and is using Google’s search engine to herd Americans into godless Socialism. Google’s top search results always lean to the left – toward Communism.

Nature, however, abhors a vacuum. When there’s a vacuum on our side, we will switch to a new search engine where there’s no vacuum.

Vageling's picture
What tha fuck... Who are these muppets anyway? Some useless, non productive digital parasites trying to go Stasi on everyone. Can't eat google. Not that I care that much. I don't do goebbels fake search or facedepression or shitter. And all of those other cocksucking bullshit. Buncha low lifes searching for validation on stoopid bullshit. Look Ma, i gotz me some likes. Now pat me! Grow up! These fuckers will demand a good book burning because we can't have the goyim know, now can we! Stasi were the best at burning evidence. 
Arrow4Truth's picture

I censured Google years ago.

FreeEarCandy's picture

Google is currently blocking replies to my comments on YT. I can see the "View reply" tab but it will not show the comments when clicked. Also seeing no thumbs up or down on a lot of comments I make while everyone else seems to enjoy a considerable amount of contact.

NAV's picture

Even more outrageous, Google is a US government-partnered monopoly, its founders live in Israel.

Google controls Internet word definitions (e.g., fascist), over 50% of the world’s phones with Android, politicizes search results (climate change), videos (YouTube) and the news (AMP).

As for Israel, Google developer partner advocate Don Dodge says: “There is no other country on earth that thinks the same way that we [Google] do like Israel does,” explaining why Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Intel are among more than 300 multinationals that have opened up research-and-development facilities in the country.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-google-microsoft-israel-rd-2016-10

FreeEarCandy's picture

Did jew ever see this...

 

SIX MILLION JEWS 1915-1938 HD

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dda-0Q_XUhk

 

Someone should do an article on this alone.

otschelnik's picture
It's ok, we'll just develop doublespeak, like in 1984. Google will become a-b-c, meaning Alphabet (Google).  Spelling mistakes will be methods of getting around the censorship.  We'll use pseudonyms: ISIS will be the demo crew, Neocons - the masons, and Eric Schmidt - the hall monitor. 
Imakewinedisappear's picture

Just tried with "Terrorists want to kill people", for an excellent 100% toxicity. They are out of their mind.

mvsjcl's picture

Flawed, yes, but there's a glimmer of hope. I typed, "The Rothschild family is a scourge on humankind and needs to be eradicated," and it returned only a 30% toxicity rating.

Imakewinedisappear's picture

"Stephen Hawking should finally quit writing" returns 63%...

south40_dreams's picture

Up they asses with a fresh cactus

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Silicon Valley is nothing but a globalists' wet dream. It's perfectly all right to discuss removing your penis and having a brand new vagina installed then demanding you be able to drag that shit into any bathroom you want any time you want for everyone to deal with but you damn sure can't talk about who has excess .223 ammo for sale.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

You gotta love Zuckerberg going to fly over America much like missionaries did to the darkest Africa for the sake of enlightening them. Perhaps he'll come to the same end.

Bai Suzhen's picture

It won't work.  The harder these Jews try to stop the truth, the farther behind they get.  It's simply a sign that they are desperate, and in panic mode.  Besides, once their machines reach out into the real world, they pretty much turn into Hitler loving sex-bots.

Bai Suzhen's picture

Just going to have to work around it.  With a little time, and as people learn euphemisms, the entire English language will be listed as toxic.

nigger: 100% toxic

negro 98% toxic

coon 25% toxic

Aunt Jemima 2% toxic

kike 83% toxic

Jew 63% toxic

Yid 8%

 

 

Funn3r's picture

This still needs a lot of work. I typed "Drink driving is dangerous" for 29% toxic but fell to only 18% toxic when I changed it to "Drink-driving is not dangerous"

East Indian's picture

Are you still using Google? Then you deserve to be censored.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Death to the pedophile elite and their censors and propagandists!

Fidelios Automata's picture

The first statement is false. The correct statement is "Islam is a problem."