Google Folds, Restores Accounts Of Banned Statistics Professor

Yesterday we reported that in a shocking, and explained move, statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science and whose work has appeared on this website on numerous prior occasions, had been banned by Google on Friday, with his email, blog and other Google-linked accounts wiped clean and no longer accessible.

As we discussed yesterday, it was not clear what Salil did to provoke Google:

On Friday afternoon East Coast Time by surprise, I was completely shut down in all my Google accounts (all of my gmail accounts, blog, all of my university pages that were on google sites, etc.) for no reason and no warning.  A number of us were stunned and unsure, but clearly we know at this point it wasn’t an accident.

As Salil explained, he had never engaged in political discourse, and his content was purely math/statistics-focused: "My background is clean, and without a political or social agenda.  I am not promoting any specific viewpoint.  I teach probability math and that’s it.  Have worked with both the Obama administration and advised on polling statistics for the Trump campaign, am an adjunct professor at three top universities, an editor of the peer-reviewed journal of the American Statistical Association, and wrote a best-selling statistics book (all the proceeds of which I gave to charity!)"

And yet, Salil's attempts to get to the bottom of his purge were fruitless:

I have followed their common “appeal” form but no response for three days.  Also connected with one of the VPs over the weekend and it still takes time until receiving this today!  Just more of a reflection of how cold a company can treat someone very poorly: without any information, and lack of ability to move forward in their life (can I get real reasons if any, can I get advance notice, can I get my contact list back from gmail, and why are university properties unrelated to my blog shut down?)

 

We are going to be looking back on this time in Google’s history and those of other social media and know that they have done some very immoral and confusing things, and it has hurt their public reputation with decent people who wanted to grow into the next future with them.

Until yesterday, Google's only response was a generic form statement it issues to every account that is "in violation of its Terms of Service."

 

That changed yesterday, because after our article detailing Salil's plight went viral, and was read 300,000 times, Google responded and as of this morning, has restored all of Salil Metha's accounts.

From his LinkedIn page:

Thank you all very much again, in recent days, for the outpouring of support in my Google predicament. I love you, and together we can and will always achieve great things. Have also spoken with the leadership there, and they restored accounts. I also don’t carry any grievance towards any part of Google, and have no intention of further comments.

Congratulations to Salil, as for Google's creeping censorship of virtually anyone that Google disagrees with (who as recent events have shown, will be prompt fired for speaking out) or is "flagged" for whatever reason, we can only hope that this incident will rein in what many have said is dangerously out-of-control behavior meant to stifle not just legitimate violators of the search giant's TOS, but virtually anyone else who "triggers" wholesale censorship by one of the most important corporations in the world.

Comments

Dukes Cognitive Dissonance Tue, 08/22/2017 - 10:37 Permalink

Seriously, what am I missing?  Why was his account shut down to begin with?I don't recall there being a mention in yesterday's article or todays referencing anything specifically. Was there a "charged" post about demographic statistics or something?Was Google trying to "right wrongs" somewhere, somehow?  Statistics are statistics.  Ain't no feelings there.  Just facts.  

In reply to by Cognitive Dissonance

NiggaPleeze stacking12321 Tue, 08/22/2017 - 14:49 Permalink

 "Don't let me Google? So don't use them."

Do you have any idea how hard it is to avoid Google, or even to avoid them tracking you everywhere you go?  Sure you can avoid the search engine, Google Plus and the like, but let's go down some short list of what Google does:

  • By far the largest online advertiser, with doubleclick and their own ad networks.  By visiting any of thousands of sites, you visit Google (and enrich them).
  • Supplemental "Google web services" like AJAX (which a huge number of websites use), Google Tag Services, data mining/analytics, cloud services, all of which you will use, like it or not, when you visit other websites.
  • Almost no competitor to YouTube, and many websites, including ZH, Infowars, and many many others, post their videos there
  • Have a smartphone?  Welcome Google or Apple (deeply and profoundly) into your life.
  • Using the Starbucks free WiFi?  Say hi to Sergei.

I often disabled all Google add-on sites (Google, YouTube, Doubleclick, etc.) with various browser add-ins (e.g., AdBlock can be used not only to block ads but to block all of Google's websites), and as the years have gone by, I find ever fewer and fewer websites that work without Google (in many cases, the page is entirely blank),  Even government websites are becoming ever-more-dependent on Google.  And each of these Google "services" allows Google to track your every move and make money off you.

In reply to by stacking12321

dark pools of soros Dukes Tue, 08/22/2017 - 10:47 Permalink

he was thinly stating how people say one thing publicly and another privately concering approval ratings vs public outcry (approvals stayed firm) and also his past predictions on how Hillary wasnt in such a great position for the election

someone inside Google pulled the switch on him without any communication... probably some SJW

In reply to by Dukes

Georgiabelle Dukes Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:24 Permalink

Rumor is that Professor Mehta had said he was going to do a statistical analysis of the probability of 4 PACCOM warships, the USS John S. McCain, the USS Antietam, USS Lake Champlain, and the USS Fitzgerald, all colliding with merchant vessels or running aground...since January 31, 2017. Shortly after he posted the comment all his accounts were suspended.

In reply to by Dukes

exi1ed0ne techpriest Tue, 08/22/2017 - 12:37 Permalink

All the core developers from Owncloud moved to Nextcloud.  Works awesome, and they have a ready to go vurtual appliance.  The phone client is a bit wonky, but other than that it's way cheaper than other cloud services.  And it's on stuff you can control (and encrypt!)  Been thinking about reselling cloud space, amongst the other things I do.

In reply to by techpriest

jin187 junction Tue, 08/22/2017 - 13:28 Permalink

My guess would be that he posted something that didn't tow the party line. As a statistics professor, I imagine he does studies, and if he posts statistics Google doesn't like related to minorities, global warming, abortion, crime, or any other number of inconvenient truths, that puts him in the crosshairs.

In reply to by junction

Milton Keynes So Close Tue, 08/22/2017 - 10:32 Permalink

Stop using google. 1) Set up your own private email on an Isp, or set up your own e-mail or set up a community email.There are lots of community emails like ACM.org or at university alumni email  Alum.mit.edu leaps to mind. 2) Stop using google. Use Bing, use Duck, Duck Go... Use meta-search tools.  

In reply to by So Close

FreeNewEnergy evoila Tue, 08/22/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

Right off the bat, I'm going to tell you that I use Bing for search and have for five years only because they have a rewards program and I've bought lots of useful items through it (via Amazon gift cards). Everybody should do it; beats getting nothing.Other than that, I have been trying to get two of my blogs off the blogspot platform (Google) and finally discovered WordPress and am migrating my blogs there. I have a gmail account, but almost never use it. I have my own website and thus, my own branded email.I have made money off Google via Adsense since 2003, but the program has deteriorated significantly. I have another ad server that pays nearly as much and am in the process of removing Google ads from my site.I believe Google, while they may not be evil, per se, does censor and is very secretive about their dealings. I warned webmasters back in 2003 about the Adsense TOS. They tell you nothing, not even how they split the ad revenue. And they make all their money from other people's content, period.For those reasons, I am doing my best to distance myself from the monlithic monster. All others shoudl do the same.

In reply to by evoila

coop FreeNewEnergy Tue, 08/22/2017 - 13:09 Permalink

.........Right off the bat, I'm going to tell you that I use Bing for search and have for five years only because they have a rewards program and I've bought lots of useful items through it (via Amazon gift cards). Everybody should do it; beats getting nothing...........So....You dropped Google and now give your info to BING because of a rewards program? LOL"If the service is free......... it's because You are the product."  

In reply to by FreeNewEnergy