Google vs. Conservatives, Continued

Project Veritas has released an email it says it received from a Google whistleblower, following up on the video that we wrote about yesterday. On its face, the email appears to be part of a discussion among members of Google’s “transparency and ethics” group. It describes Prager University, Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro as “Nazis” and addresses the question how their influence can be reduced. Click to enlarge:

As the text is small, here is the entire content of the email:

Today it is often 1 or 2 steps to nazis, if we understand that PragerU, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro et al are nazis using the dog whistles you mention in step 1. I can receive these recommendations regardless of the content of what I’m looking at, and I have recorded thousands of internet users sharing the same experience.

I don’t think correctly identifying the far-right content is beyond our capabilities. But if it is, why not go with Meredith’s suggestion of disabling the suggestions feature? This could be a significant step in terms of user trust.

I believe this conversation is about “nazi” content showing up as recommended videos on YouTube. It sounds as though some liberals have complained to Google that they saw such recommendations for content they deemed objectionable. No doubt the recommendations popped up pursuant to some computer algorithm “regardless of the content of what I’m looking at.”

The writer of the email poses two alternatives: the first is “correctly identifying the far-right content,” presumably so it can be suppressed. (No reference, of course, to far left content.) The second alternative (“Meredith’s suggestion”) is disabling the suggestions feature altogether, which seems like an extreme remedy.

YouTube’s “suggested” or “recommended” video feature has changed somewhat over time, I believe, but “recommended for you” appears to be the current formula. So I take it that Google either 1) did nothing, or 2) “identif[ied] far-right content” and took some other steps to suppress it.

All of this assumes, of course, that the email is genuine, as it appears to be on the surface. Granted that assumption, the evidence continues to mount that Google systematically discriminates against conservatives in its various products.


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