How Google’s China project undermines its claims to political neutrality

On Wednesday, 85 pages of documents were leaked to Breitbart News . The title "The Good Censor" is a presentation that tracks the progress of content management on the technology platform to date. This document is more explanatory than the norm, so we aim to capture current discussions rather than directly affecting Google's leadership. Still, to be honest with Google's role as a censorist, the entirely readable documentation here may raise new demands to curb the power of the platform.

First, there is some context. This presentation was announced in March of this year under the title Brand Studio, "Google's internal think tank that uses creativity, media and technology to create an experience that connects Google products with people using Google products. I expressed it. There is a team that develops programs for "crisis response and sustainability". Typically, brand studios meet with experts, organize white papers, and conduct a variety of marketing stunts.

That is, Breitbart News is not a comment from Google Search Director or YouTube CEO. Still, it's worth noting that companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are framing content mediation.

The presentation is divided into five sections. Briefly describe the dimensions of bad behavior and online censorship. Reviewing the response of the company; I looked at the balance between freedom of the press and global censorship. Finally, they ask how they want people to respond to Google.

Everywhere the authors see, people do "bad behavior" to use their chosen expression. Individuals harass or exploit others. The government employs bots, troll farms, and hackers to campaign for influence. Technology companies promote fake news, underestimate it moderately, and profit from the spread of false information.

"Informative online conversation is not news of informative debate." "Priorities can be somewhat confusing when technology companies are keeping in mind the interests of shareholders, press freedom and censorship." They add: "In response to public pressure, Well, either way. "

What did tech companies mismanage? According to the report: inconsistent application of content mediation guidelines; An opaque explanation of their policies; Underestimate the scope of the problem. Slow response time;

So what should Google do?

"The answer is that you have to stick to & # 39; Do not look for the right amount of censorship." It, the author writes. Instead: "Google will change over time, changing its position on how much censorship (due to public, government, commercial pressure), so what does the change in users and / or Google mean? A blind or silent move in one direction or another to the right will trigger anger. "

Other recommendations in the report remain neutral. "Police tone rather than content"; Clearly implement policies. It justifies the global policy on censorship. Describe the underlying technology on which the platform is running. It is better to talk about everything.

The company's official position on content mediation is still political neutrality, the spokesman said in an e-mail.

We promise free expression. Core to our mission. Where we have developed our own content policy, we enforce it in a politically neutral manner. Putting the content of a political ideology on other ideologies is fundamentally in conflict with the goal of providing services that everyone can use.

Of course, it is not possible to read reports or Google statements without considering Project Dragonfly. According to an ongoing report by Ryan Gallagher The Intercept Google's planned Chinese search engine makes everything possible, but enables a free flow of ideas. Even though US users demand a technology platform to limit the freedom of users instead of demanding more safety and security, many people are still opposed to the idea of ​​a search engine that prohibits search terms that support dictatorial regimes.

The key to this report is the tension that can not be solved. Almost everyone will agree that there are some restrictions on freedom of the press. But some of us will agree with what these restrictions are. A good censor or at least a consistent censor is inside Google. But politically neutral is impossible.

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"I think about the other company that faced [challenges]."

"It's going to be a difficult task." The communications team is under extreme stress recently. I can not, and I can not even expect to face [challenges]"said Brandee Barker, marketing and communications company The Founder of Pramana Collective. Barker served as Global Communications and Public Policy Officer on Facebook from 2006 to 2010. The biggest problem the company faced was the technology description. When Facebook started a news feed, angry users protested outside the corporate office.

"The role has greatly improved since I was there," Barker said. Pointing out that a job has two components, she thinks it is currently mainly a policy role. "

Teenagers are" constantly being harassed "by Instagram

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According to a recent Pew survey, 59% of teenagers were harassed online, and according to a survey conducted by Ditch in 2017, Label, a nonprofit organization that protects against harassment. There is more than one child between the ages of 12 and 20 who has experienced bullying at Instagram. "Instagram is sometimes a good place." Riley, 14, asked that most of the children in this story only mention her name. "But there are many drama, harassment, gossip."

Young people have always been cruel to one another. Instagram, however, provides a unique and powerful set of tools. Due to the speed and size of the deployment mechanism, rude comments or harassed images can infect the virus in a matter of hours. Like Twitter, Instagram makes it easy to set up a new, anonymous profile. Most importantly, many of your app's interactions are hidden from the watchful eyes of parents and teachers, many of whom do not understand the complexities of the platform.

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