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The Dark Side of Google Continued from page 15

When someone searches Google – an act so common that it was added as a legitimate transitive verb to the Oxford English Dictionary and the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary 2006 – they are often at their most uncertain and vulnerable moment, which is why they have a question and are deferring to Google for an answer. In fact, every second there are 63,000 Google searches performed around the world, which translates into 228 million searches per hour, and 2 trillion searches per year. The majority of these searches will present an autocomplete suggestion, effectively completing the users’ thoughts for them. Most searchers assume the results Google will present are somehow objective, and credible sources of data, because of the perceived power and/or omniscience of their algorithms. This is why Google’s autocomplete feature is so powerful. And why, if it is not an accurate prediction of what the user is looking for, but the opposite, it can profoundly influence a person’s thinking and subsequent favor. It is fundamentally the trust one puts in Google that it does not have its own agenda, which gives it its immense power and draw. This is why the recent undercover investigation by Project Veritas is so concerning. James O’ Keefe interviewed a top Google executive who admitted that Google adjusted their algorithms to manipulate elections. Where do we go from here? The research on Google’s manipulation of search results has just begun, and there are other topics to be explored. For instance, we addressed Google’s attempt to discredit vaccine safety and health freedom advocates by further amplifying the dehumanizing effects of the socially engineered slur “anti-vaxxer.” Yet Google Trends shows that this is not a search that the public makes, globally, nor in the USA. Clearly, Google cannot be trusted. Three of their own core products – Google Search, Google Trends, Google Ads’ Keyword Planner – boldly reveal how their search results do not accurately reflect their search volume. How can they get away with this, you might ask? It turns out that they are indemnified against lawsuit for manipulating content on their platform due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Until this act is repealed they will continue to operate with impunity, essentially above the law. But in a promising new development, on June 19, 2019, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced legislation, Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, which “removes the immunity big tech companies receive under Section 230 unless they submit to an external audit that proves by clear and convincing evidence that their algorithms and content-removal practices are politically neutral. Senator Hawley’s legislation does not apply to small and medium-sized tech companies.” We hope it continues to receive bipartisan support and succeeds in correcting the loophole which has led to Google’s immense misuse of power. ~ Sayer Ji is founder

of GreenMedInfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

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