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March 20, 2024
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The Media Research Center issued an updated report Monday alleging that Google has been interfering with major U.S. elections for the past 16 years, in 41 elections.  According to the conservative media watchdog group, the interference started in 2008 but has “surged dramatically” in recent years, after Trump was elected.  We mentioned the report just as it was being released but can now take a more in-depth look.

The MRC’s conclusion was this: “After failing to prevent then-candidate for President Donald Trump from being inaugurated following the 2016 election, Google has since made clear to any discerning observer that it has been --- and will continue --- interfering in America’s elections.”

MRC President Brent Bozell said, “Google’s massive and deliberate efforts to interfere in U.S. elections for the past 16 years is unacceptable and the biggest threat to American democracy today.”

Indeed, we hope the Supreme Court justices will all have seen this report before ruling on the case before them concerning the government’s ability to interfere with online speech.  As you know, it was also on Monday that SCOTUS heard the arguments in Murthy v. Missouri (former Missouri v. Biden), which was brought by GOP state attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana accusing the Biden administration of pressuring social media companies to censor election-related speech.  Discovery in that case has been astounding, just about as revelatory about this public-private partnership as the “Twitter Files” have been.

The new MRC report says that in every case where interference with searches was found, Google had used its algorithm to suppress information that threatened “its left-wing candidate of choice,” as reported by Kevin Cooke at FOX NEWS.  Exhibit A:  Hillary Clinton (surprise!), whom it pushed for the presidency in 2016.  The report cites 2019 congressional testimony from data scientist and research psychologist Robert Epstein, who said Google’s “censorious search algorithm” likely earned Clinton 2.6 million votes.  The WASHINGTON EXAMINER describes Epstein’s methodology as allegedly involving “the preservation of 13,000 election-related searches before Election Day and ‘dozens of controlled experiments’ on search results being biased against Trump.’”

Paradoxically, though, Epstein found that Google censored bloggers SUPPORTIVE of Hillary in 2008, because that was the designated year to support Barack Obama.  The report also alleges that in 2020, they disabled Tulsi Gabbard’s Google Ads account following the first Democrat Party primary, when she became the most-searched candidate.

Then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt was a big Obama fan, endorsing him in 2008 and 2012 and repeatedly visiting the Obama White House with members of his staff.  Schmidt was “intimately involved in building Obama’s voter-targeting operation in 2012, recruiting digital talent, choosing technology and coaching campaign manager Jim Messina on campaign infrastructure.”  That information comes not from the conservative MRC but from the Tech Transparency Project, in a report issued in 2016 by the left-wing nonprofit Campaign for Accountability, in a joint effort with THE INTERCEPT, also on the left.

In fact, it’s this article from THE INTERCEPT in April 2016 that we’d really like all nine Supreme Court justices --- particularly, based on the obtuse questions she asked on Monday, Ketanji Brown Jackson --- to have read before ruling.  Google and the government have had a back-and-forth revolving-door situation for years, involving nearly 250 staffers.  (Note:  recall that the “Twitter Files” found the same sort of revolving door, with Twitter employing numerous former FBI agents and officials.)  Logs show that Google representatives attended meetings at the White House more than once a week from the beginning of Obama’s presidency through October 2015.  Unfortunately, White House logs don’t detail the purpose of these many meetings, only who was there.

“No other public company approaches this degree of intimacy with government,” THE INTERCEPT states, going on to describe the nature of the lobbying and general schmoozing that goes on.  If the relationship between Google and the White House was this disturbingly close at the time this article was written, when Trump was first running for office, imagine how co-dependent it must be now!  For when you have time, this detailed article will be an eye-opener…

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/

It’s chilling that, long before the release of the “Twitter Files” that revealed the incestuous relationship between the government and Twitter, this 2016 article says of Google, “The government and Google shared engineers, lawyers, scientists, communications specialists, executives and even board members.  Google has achieved a kind of vertical integration with the government:  a true public-private partnership.”  The government abridging freedom of speech through public-private partnerships should be commonly understood as wildly unconstitutional, but we’ve entered such a gray area on free speech that the Supreme Court is now tasked with determining that.  It could determine what kind of America we’re going to have.

In more recent times, Google also suppressed news critical of Joe Biden --- I know, aren’t we all shocked? --- to help him in 2020, and, according to the report, concealed most of the GOP campaign websites affecting 12 competitive Senate races as recently as 2022.  By coincidence, Google employees have already given at least $317,000 to Biden’s current campaign, as evidenced in Federal Election Commission filings and reported by the WASHINGTON EXAMINER.

Google responded to the report with a statement saying in part that it has “a clear business incentive to keep both sides happy” and has “safeguards to ensure non-biased and accurate search results are there.”

(Cue laugh track.)

Here’s the WASHINGTON EXAMINER piece:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/technology/2927379/google-interfered-us-elections-41-times-boost-democrats/

Here’s the full report from the MRC, 19 pages of fun...

https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://cdn.mrc.org/static/pdfuploads/MRC%2520Google%2520Election%2520Interference%2520Report.pdf-1710439680476.pdf

The MRC has been looking into Google censorship for some time.  This is from 2022…

https://www.foxnews.com/media/google-punishing-republicans-speak-out-against-big-tech-conservative-study-claims

Keep in mind that a couple of studies by one group, taken alone, don’t give us a definitive picture of Google’s censorship activities, but the value of these is in helping us verify other observations.  (That’s how science works, boys and girls!)  We’ve had our own problems with Google, firsthand experience with this, which is why we moved to Substack and totally away from being an advertiser-supported newsletter, rather than bowing to the Almighty Content Moderators.  THE FEDERALIST was cited on the same “blacklist” we were --- and in these cases the censorship was regarding opinion, certainly not facts --- and here’s what POLITICO wrote about their situation in 2020.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/16/google-penalizes-right-wing-sites-323846

Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee commented on this at the time, tweeting, “Google dominates the search business, they dominate the ad business, and now they want to dominate what you’re allowed to think.”  Knowing the pre-Elon Twitter, they probably blocked that, haha.

The POLITICO piece notes that some conservatives wear Silicon Valley’s “slap on the wrist” as a “badge of honor.”  We can say that we absolutely do, and even talked about getting T-shirts that said, “Determined By Google To Be UNRELIABLE AND HARMFUL.”  But in practicality, it’s inaccurate to call demonetization a slap on the wrist when it’s much more.  Demonetization prevents professional writers and real journalists (as opposed to government-sanctioned so-called mainstream “journalists” – i.e., government stenographers) from making a living.  In the current toxic online environment, we can bring you the newsletter we WANT to write only through paid subscriptions and donor support.  Please think about that if you’re reading for free!

 

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