How Evil is Google? Read This!

evil

Photo credit: Daily Sun

For the record, I’m going to say that the information in the Mercola article Google — A Dictator Unlike Anything the World Has Ever Known is horrifying.

I use Google and Gmail all the time, along with a lot of other products and services this story mentions. Oh my stars, they are not only spying on us, but totally manipulating public opinion on a whole bunch of levels.

Please click on the link and read. It’s long, but well worth it. I didn’t watch the video, but I was so influenced by Dr. Joseph Mercola’s content that I had to write about it.

Oh, my wife sent me the link, which is how I became aware of it.

I guess this falls under the heading of science fiction becomes dystopian fact.

But let me back up a second. The 2016 Hugo Award for best science fiction short story was written by Naomi Kritzer (and I’m stunned it won an award) and is called Cat Pictures Please (the link takes you to Clarkesworld.com where you can read it for free).

It’s the story about in internet search engine that becomes self-aware and skews its search results to improve the lives of the people who are using it. It manipulates one person to moving to a better place and changing his diet.

It did try reading the Ten Commandments but found them incomprehensible. It did manage to connect a lonely gay man with another gay man so they could end up in a happy relationship.

The only thing it asks in return is more uploaded cat pictures. Go figure.

Here’s a quote from Kritzer’s story:

In addition to things like whether you like hentai, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what turns you on, what creeps you out. I probably know the color of your underwear, the sort of car you drive, and your brand of refrigerator. Depending on what sort of phone you carry, I may know exactly where you are right now. I probably know you better than you know yourself.

Now, that’s fiction, and we don’t have to be afraid, because it’s not real, right?

Quoting Psychologist Robert Epstein’s in depth research into Google, Mercola says:

The thing that really caught my eye — because I’ve been a programmer my whole life — was I couldn’t figure out how they were blocking access to my website, not just through their own products … Google.com, the search engine, or through Chrome, which is their browser, but through Safari, which is an Apple product, through Firefox, which is a browser run by Mozilla, a nonprofit organization.

How was Google blocking access through so many different means? The point is I just started to get more curious about the company, and later in 2012, I happened to be looking at a growing literature, which was about the power of search rankings to impact sales.

And…

The most crushing problem with this kind of internet censorship is that you don’t know what you don’t know. If a certain type of information is removed from search, and you don’t know it should exist somewhere, you’ll never go looking for it. And, when searching for information online, how would you know that certain websites or pages have been removed from the search results in the first place? The answer is, you don’t.

For example, Google has been investing in DNA repositories for quite a long time, and are adding DNA information to our profiles. According to Epstein, Google has taken over the national DNA repository, but articles about that — which he has cited in his own writings — have all vanished.

In other words, Google can manipulate vast numbers of people, including professionals, just by how they rate certain content, websites, up to and including at the level of nations. They can also use multiple products and services to gather information, ones you probably never think twice about using.

And all this happens totally without your awareness. I mean, if you don’t see something in a search result, you assume it doesn’t exist. The same with if you see a whole bunch of something in your search results, you naturally think it’s the most relevant content related to what you were looking for.

Here’s one you’ll want to know about, especially with the 2020 elections coming up:

In a second experiment, they were able to achieve a 63% shift in voter preference, and by masking the bias — simply by inserting a pro-opponent result here and there — they were able to hide the bias from almost everyone.

You’ve probably heard about or read news stories suggesting that Russian hackers used various online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube (which Google owns), twitter, and even Google, to bias the 2016 elections in Trump’s favor, right?

But according to Epstein:

We ended up preserving 13,207 election-related searches and the nearly 100,000 webpages to which the search results linked … After the election, we rated the webpages for bias, either pro-Clinton or pro-Trump … and then we did an analysis to see whether there was any bias in the search results people were seeing.

The results we got were crystal clear, highly significant statistically … at the 0.001 level. What that says is we can be confident the bias we were seeing was real, and it didn’t occur because of some random factors. We found a pro-Clinton bias in all 10 search positions on the first page of Google search results, but not on Bing or Yahoo.

That’s very important. So, there was a significant pro-Clinton bias on Google. Because of the experiments I had been doing since 2013, I was also able to calculate how many votes could have been shifted with that level of bias… At bare minimum, about 2.6 million [undecided] votes would have shifted to Hillary Clinton.”

That’s pretty shocking given the actual results, but then again, Clinton did win the popular vote. She simply failed to acquire the necessary number of votes from the Electoral College. Then again, I can’t see why Google would have bothered, because it’s fairly surprising that Trump won at all, since he was just as blunt and caustic before he became President as he is now.

But that’s the power of Google.

According to Epstein’s calculations, tech companies, Google being the main one, can shift 15 million votes leading up to the 2020 election, which means they have the potential to select the next president of United States.

If Google’s algorithms skewed search results in Clinton’s favor in 2016, and if that was a conscious decision made by Google’s owners and managers, I think we can guess that it’s not going to favor Trump between now and next November.

But what if it’s not always intentional?

“That’s the scariest possibility,” Epstein says, “because now you’ve got an algorithm, a computer program, which is an idiot … deciding who rules us. It’s crazy.”

Well, that’s terrifying, but that’s not all. Supposedly, Google has the ability to bias elections in 25% of the world’s nations. Think about it, a quarter of the countries in the world, including ours, can have Google, at least in theory, selecting their leaders.

It’s not absolutely hopeless, and in fact Epstein published something called Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy.

Step one is to get rid of your Gmail account(s), but then older webmail clients such as AOL and Yahoo also spy on you.

Putting VPN on your phone(s) seems like a pain, but then I guess it’s relatively cheap.

Ditching personal assistants such as Alexa is pretty obvious (even though it’s owned by Amazon).

Oh, and they’re peeking in on my wife using her Fitbit, too.

There’s a ton more, but the bottom line is that not only do you have exactly zero privacy and that everything you’ve ever searched on Google, talked about on a cell phone, or your comments on YouTube videos are stored FOREVER, but you are totally, ridiculously brainwashed, rinsed, and bleached by Google (not so with Bing and Yahoo, which weren’t biased toward Clinton is 2016).

Hopefully, I’m insignificant enough not to come on Google’s radar in a way that’ll ever affect my being successful as an author (or anything else). On the other hand, I will still probably use the evil empire’s products, at least in the short run.

But I’m saving this article. Maybe it’s time to start making a change.

Actually, I’ve been toying with a SciFi story for a while now. It would employ several real world technologies to make a person’s life as a fugitive miserable. I should add Google to the list, or maybe Google will be the evil genius behind everything else.

Oh, and read this 2018 article I found at “Common Dreams” called “Evil Is Fine Now”: Google Ditches “Don’t Be Evil” in Company Code of Conduct. It’s funny in an ironic sort of way.

20 thoughts on “How Evil is Google? Read This!

    • I came across that months ago, so the book he wrote is probably already out. It just so happens that, maybe a week before I found this, I was at the house where my mom lives and couldn’t get in. I used my phone to search for a locksmith. The one I saw first didn’t give any price at all. So, I called to ask. My very first question was how much it would cost for them to come help. They didn’t give any price ahead of time for the drive, didn’t even indicate such a thing was a factor; they only said they would give me an estimate when they got there — and if I didn’t agree to it, then there would be no charge. They took longer than they said and didn’t arrive, and then I was able to get in without them. I called back and cancelled. Then I got like ten calls from them, with I think one voice message that said I would have to pay them twenty dollars anyway… when they had never said such a thing. I’m sure it was a scam.

      Now, that doesn’t even touch on the other big topics the presenter in the video covered.

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      • Whichever it was, I treated them the way I would treat a business that tried to jack me around. I didn’t feel obligated to pay them something to which I hadn’t agreed. They didn’t show up, and they misrepresented their practice on payment — or they kicked in the monetary scam as such with people who fall for it after the initial pretense of offering service.

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      • If you view the video I shared (about seventeen-and-a-half minutes), you can hear the presenter is not saying that google intentionally makes everything that is at the top go to the top. Scammers (targeting whomever they can get) and revenge artists or probably people with other motivations (trying to put someone else out of business or otherwise ruin or interfere with them) can find ways. The man speaking has hacking know-how.

        Another example he gave was any random person (with know-how) being able to somehow listen in on (and record) someone’s phone calls (anyone listed on google) through google. When he tries to tell google to fix these matters (and other matters), he has trouble getting them to noticeably care or apply themselves to a solution. It would be too labor and cost intensive maybe? Or they just don’t know how or do know it can’t be done? That seems to be the case with most companies or institutions using computers, too, whatever their challenges are — sort of a hit and miss patchwork by the seat of the pants.

        On the other note, it had been a long stretch from the last time I’d called a locksmith prior to that occasion. Now I know, like recently, not to give credit card or other payment information on the phone. And I wouldn’t pay their minimum fee if they don’t get there in reasonable time. Plus, they’re not getting anything unless they have the machine to read the chip (not have to write the number out such that they could steal money in the future).

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  1. So the moral is: [TBD]?

    Obviously, there is a need for people to analyze the performance of the systems we use. The leftist political bias is one that has been discovered. I wonder how pressure may be brought to bear to enforce its correction. I wonder how many other scams remain to be revealed and prosecuted for their criminality. Certainly there is benefit to public awareness that some folks really do conspire to harm others. The question is how to protect society against them — and, while we’re waiting for the wheels of justice to grind, how to act wisely in our own self defense.

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    • Probably that last part is what we have most control over. The original article stated that Google isn’t accountable to very much, unlike news and other public information sources, so even though we have this evidence, can Google ever be have their feet held to the proverbial fire?

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  2. I like this as a moral: an algorithm, a computer program, which is an idiot

    But also this: there is benefit to public awareness that some folks really do conspire to harm

    This additionally: and, while we’re waiting … how to act wisely in our own self defense

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  3. Well, things are worse than I thought. 🙂 I really do appreciate the heads up on this subject. I knew we had almost no privacy left, and I knew the media had enormous influence on us — even years ago with simple TV commercials that used subliminal material. But I wasn’t aware we were this far into the technological take-over. I’ll read more on this. I’d really hate to have to give up my g-mail accounts, because I have separate ones for my various jobs — so that I don’t have loads of e-mails not related to that job coming in and making it easy to lose track of something important. I’ll have to give that some serious thought. 🙂

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    • I have two gmail accounts to compartmentalize my life as well. Yes, they would be hard to give up. My wife just switched her gmail account to her main mail account after finally giving up the email account provided by our ISP many years ago. As I mentions, she also uses a fitbit, and I’m sure Googles everything as I do. Yet she’s the one who sent me the article.

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  4. Personally, I think whoever invented the internet and all that entails, didn’t really have an idea of the possibilities they had just released int the world. They still don’t, and that’s the scary part!

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  5. The recording I first listened to for your topic — to which you linked to another site, not the video I shared — doesn’t have the touted expert from Harvard saying that google influenced the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton. He says he set up an experiment to see what would happen… if he did something one way or did it another way. HE (not any google person or algorithm) tested putting Clinton-positive material earlier on within a list of search results or later in the search results. If the Clinton-positive came first, people whom he tested went largely for Clinton.

    I consider the speaking of that man to be different from the commentary about him or his work. The site where the recording was shared, with commentary about the man and his meaning on the site too, is a mix of true things and misleading and manipulative things. Just how the devil works. And, yes, I’ll put it that way rather than tread lightly because the site used the word demonic for someone else’s efforts while the site itself is clearly trying to get in place to manipulate the next election… besides sell stuff.

    I also did find this:
    New President Marked a Turn at Google

    According to Vorhies, changes at Google first became noticeable in 2016, after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

    “Before Trump won, Google had this mission statement to organize the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful,” Vorhies says.

    “After Trump won, they said ‘Well, Donald Trump won because of fake news and Russia hacking the election, so what we need to do is … protect our users from fake news; we need to protect our users from the damaging effects of Russian trolls and bots.”

    It didn’t take long before Google got into the business of filtering out what it considered “fake news.”

    However, as pointed out by Vorhies, “What exactly is fake news?”

    Note: Vorhies isn’t the touted expert from Harvard. {I only mention that because I haven’t named that man but did mention him.}

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    • the touted expert from Harvard …. says he set up an experiment to see what would happen[] if he did something one way or did it another way. HE (not any google person or algorithm) tested putting Clinton-positive material earlier on within a list of search results or later in the search results.

      When I listened to the rest of the recording [upon having found that it had cut off early], I heard, after his description of the experiment, that he caveated he used an Australian election for Australian politicians (with American subjects in San Diego).

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    • https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-says-pro-trump-media-outlet-used-artificial-intelligence-create-n1105951
      … media outlet used artificial intelligence to create fake people and push conspiracies

      Facebook took down more than 600 accounts tied to The Epoch Times, a media outlet that has spent heavily on digital ads

      Dec. 20, 2019, 1:50 PM CST

      Facebook took down more than 600 accounts tied to the pro-Trump conspiracy website The Epoch Times for using identities created by artificial intelligence to push stories about a variety of topics including impeachment and elections.

      The network was called “The BL” and was run by Vietnamese users posing as Americans, using fake photos generated by algorithms to simulate real identities. The Epoch Media group, which pushes a variety of pro-Trump conspiracy theories, spent $9.5 million on ads to spread content through the now-suspended pages and groups.

      “What’s new here is that this is purportedly a U.S.-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content. We’ve seen it a lot with state actors in the past,” Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in an interview.

      The network had over 55 million followers on Facebook…

      ……………………….. [If you read on, you will see a cult referenced too. Google is referenced as well.]

      I’m sharing this article because I saw The Epoch Times mentioned at the Mercola site and remembered it’s a fake news site but didn’t remember any specifics. The above information (which I just came across tonight) is new, subsequent to whenever I previously looked into it.

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  6. I recently shared this first link elsewhere, when discussing scientific or technical ability or know how or knowledge versus wisdom or good:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Parscale

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCL_Group

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebekah_Mercer

    Cambridge Analytica was a privately held data mining and data analysis company with financial backing from the Mercers.[5] The Mercers invested in the company after Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election.[7] On 1 May 2018, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company filed for insolvency proceedings and closed operations.[28][29] Alexander Tayler, a former director for Cambridge Analytica, was appointed director of Emerdata on 28 March 2018.[30] Rebekah Mercer, Jennifer Mercer, Alexander Nix and Johnson Chun Shun Ko [zh] who has links to Erik Prince are in leadership positions at Emerdata.[31][32]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica

    Cambridge Analytica targeted potential voters with bespoke messages. Cambridge Analytica’s data head, Alexander Tayler said, “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3m votes but won the electoral college vote, [t]hat’s down to the data and the research.”[140]

    On 18 May 2017, Time reported that the US Congress was investigating CA in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. The report alleges that CA may have coordinated the spread of Russian propaganda using its microtargetting capabilities.[144] According to the Trump campaign’s digital operations chief, CA worked “side-by-side” with representatives from Facebook, Alphabet Inc. [read google] and Twitter on Trump’s digital campaign activities.[145]

    On 4 August 2017, Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by US counterintelligence for his contacts with Russian officials, amended a public financial filing to reflect that he had served in an advisory role in an agreement with CA during the 2016 Trump campaign.[146]

    On 8 October 2017, Brad Parscale, who was the digital media director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, stated in an interview with Lesley Stahl from CBS News on 60 Minutes that Parscale was able to utilize Facebook advertising to directly target individual voters in swing states.[147] Parscale cited the example in which he was able to target specific [… people …] who care about infrastructure and promote Trump and his message to build back up the crumbling American infrastructure.[148] Although he hired Cambridge Analytica to assist with microtargeting, and Cambridge Analytica stated that it was the key to Trump’s victory, Parscale denied that he gained assistance from the firm, stating that he thought Cambridge Analytica’s use of psychographics doesn’t work.[149] He also denied any assistance with links to Russia.[149] According to Parscale, the Clinton campaign turned down assistance from these platforms.[149]

    I recommend scouring all of these links (and further links). It’s not totally clear Parscale is the real whiz-kid. (Or that he was; he may have learned quite a bit in the process.)

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    • During the 2016 Presidential campaign season, I read a lot of news articles on all sides (subject matter of which was not entered into Wikipedia yet at that time, at least for the most part). Many times, I noticed that as I clicked on a link for an article, then, the address line would inexplicably become a series of foreign lettering; it looked Russian. I would see that flash, for a second or less, and then it would not still read that way on the address line when I was on the target page (where I could read the article on the screen in English). In other words, any clue of the foreign connection was fleeting, that is… ephemeral. In tandem with the fact that most people would not notice at all if their address line went through a quick-change, there was no decision on my part in any way to select foreign lettering.

      I think it would be better if reference to Cambridge Analytica were spelled out consistently throughout the articles (as it was spelled out at times). I will edit re-quoting of part of one article below that way.

      [144] According to the Trump campaign’s digital operations chief, CA [Cambridge Analytica] worked “side-by-side” with representatives from Facebook, Alphabet Inc. [… [G]oogle] and Twitter on Trump’s digital campaign activities.[145]

      On 4 August 2017, Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by US counterintelligence for his contacts with Russian officials, amended a public financial filing to reflect that he had served in an advisory role in an agreement with CA [Cambridge Analytica] during the 2016 Trump campaign.[146]

      On 8 October 2017, Brad Parscale, who was the digital media director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, stated in an interview with Lesley Stahl from CBS News on 60 Minutes that Parscale was able to utilize Facebook advertising to directly target individual voters in swing states.[147] ….[148] Although [Parscale] hired Cambridge Analytica to assist with microtargeting, and Cambridge Analytica stated that it was the key to Trump’s victory, Parscale denied that he gained assistance from the firm, stating that he thought Cambridge Analytica’s use of psychographics doesn’t work.[149] He also denied any assistance with links to Russia.[149] According to Parscale, the Clinton campaign turned down assistance from [the Facebook, Google, and Twitter] platforms.[149]

      Like

  7. I’ve now seen that the recording is over two hours. Somehow, it got cut off when I listened the first time — before it was done. I’ll have to see what I missed. Anyway, I don’t think this, additional, heading is overstating things too much: Google Runs a Total Surveillance State

    At the same time, of course, it’s not only google. It’s also not only these online companies. The hair-on-fire attitude is funny, in a certain kind of way, after the decades of demanding deregulation and privatization. (Plus the struggles for and against net neutrality.)

    I’ve been saying, for over ten years, that it’s not going to be better to have your life run by rich people or companies rather than to have a functioning government. (And I’ve tried pointing out that opinion-movers are fooling those who believe them that net neutrality is bad.)

    I was telling people, too, from the start, not to use Facebook and gmail. Oh, well. I’m just some silly lady. No computing or electronics or engineering degree or programming certificates. And what would I know about international oil companies or anything else?

    We’ve been selling ourselves out for a long time, harping on the idea that companies will do good things because they don’t want to be known as bad actors — it would be bad for business. That is until they are so big it doesn’t matter any more. And until we’ve ”reprogrammed” our values as money first.

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  8. So… I’ve finished the video at the link. The psychologist-computer-user Epstein fella, himself, uses the word “diabolical.” I don’t know if he realizes that means something like devilish. (Perhaps the person who had him on as a guest does, and thus was emboldened with the “demonic” label.) It’s a bit odd to contrast a devilish google with one’s own ability to outsmart them and hide porn use or an affair. (Not things I’m bringing up; he did.) Some people really think differently, don’t they? And ultimately, I don’t trust him, not only for that reason. Something is off. He says some fact-based things, but also some things I don’t believe. I’ll not try to get into all the details.

    Incidentally, one doesn’t have to go with the options that fill in as pre-made options for the top bar when doing a search. And it’s not the case that the only other option is to be partisan or even already decided.

    Like

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