'Senate Republicans tore into Google during a hearing, demanding accountability for its biased, election-skewing algorithms, while Democrats ran interference, denying the company was censoring anyone – and suggesting it should.
"If Big Tech cannot provide us with evidence that it's not playing Big Brother with its vast immense powers, there's no reason Congress should give them a special subsidy with Section 230," Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution chair Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned, opening Tuesday's hearing on Google and Censorship through Search Engines. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gives internet platforms legal immunity for content they host, so long as they make no editorial judgments about that content. Google, Cruz and his colleagues declared, had long since overstepped that boundary.
Google's VP of Government Affairs and Public Policy Karan Bhatia admitted that "The Good Censor" was real, referring to the infamous leaked document in which the tech giant discusses how it "control[s] the majority of online conversations," having shifted the balance away from the "marketplace of ideas" model toward the "well-ordered spaces for safety and civility" model. However, she dismissed it as marketing-speak.
"The Good Censor" showed Google proudly assuming the mantle of "editor" and "publisher" – roles it is not permitted to perform while retaining Section 230 protections. Bhatia was unable to explain away the document's damning content, dismissing it as "thinking that's being done by a marketing team."
Bhatia's artful evasiveness led Cruz to marvel at one point: "You're managing to be less candid than Mark Zuckerberg." His repeated appeals to Google's large size – 100,000 people – and (he insisted) heterogenous nature failed to deflect the determined questioning of conservative senators eager to drag answers out of Google's walled data fortress.'
Read more: Election-meddling & 'good censorship': Google ‘pushes the boundaries till its hand gets slapped’
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
2 November 2019
Secret cameras have been in primary school's toilets for up to FIVE years, chair of governors reveals in email to horrified parents
31 October 2019
“Every Keystroke on Every Device Is LOGGED Somewhere”: The Unsettling Truth About the Internet
From our advertisers
6 December 2019
What Corbyn SHOULD have said to Schofield and Neil - David Icke Dot-Connector Videocast
2 hours ago
‘Brexitquake, not Youthquake’: Stunning UK vote proves those who ignore traditional supporters are doomed – George Galloway
From our advertisers