Originally published on www.thehighwire.com
Google's practices drive much of the Internet experience for most consumers by determining what they view - or rather, what they are allowed to view
Thanks to a recent Project Veritas investigation, it's now public knowledge that Google manipulates its search engine suggestions to create its version of reality. Google's internal teams have been busy collecting and classifying data and search trends then using the information to program highly biased algorithms into their search engine's autocomplete function. The result has been the filtering and unfair ranking of certain media and news narratives, political suppression and what they consider beneficial health information. Once Google began introducing the concept of Machine Learning Fairness (MLF), as it's known within the company, certain online conversations, searches, and ideas have been quietly choked out.
According to research firm NetMarketShare, Google has more than 75% of the search engine market share for desktop browsers and over 80% for mobile devices which effectively gives it monopoly control. Therefore, Google's practices drive much of the Internet experience for most consumers by determining what they view - or rather, what they are allowed to view.
Google has throttled traffic to natural health and health freedom advocating sectors of the internet with popular sites like Mercola.com reportedly losing 99% of its organic traffic. In addition, several vaccine-related bills have gone before voting committees since 2019 began. While over 100 bills across the majority of American states were being voted on, citizens raced against the clock to educate their representatives, themselves and their communities. Many people turned to Google's 75-80% search engine supremacy as their place to start their personal research and fact-finding.
In searching for terms, Google provides autocomplete options via a dropdown menu that purportedly corresponds to popular internet search terms. However, recently leaked documents, a whistleblower, employee admissions and user experiences have uncovered a more nefarious agenda being forced by Google.
A leaked internal Google email describes its goal to:
"Establish a "single point of truth" for definition of "news" across Google products."
Another leaked document describes how Google's product, known as MLF, operates by explaining:
In some cases it may be appropriate to take no actions if the system accurately reflects current reality, while in other cases it may be desirable to consider how we might help society reach a more and equitable state via product intervention or broader corporate social responsibility..."
Brought to light recently by a GreenMedInfo investigation, searching the words "Vaccines Cause" shows Google manipulating the autocomplete results.
A Google product called Google Trends bypasses the biased autocomplete search engine and shows the actual volume and popularity of the things people are searching for. Comparing "Vaccines Cause Adults" with "Vaccines Cause Autism" shows that "Vaccines Cause Autism" (red line) is far more searched than "Vaccines Cause Adults." Yet Google's biased MLF search engine has disappeared the term and very idea that "Vaccines Cause Autism." Despite the 'settled science' talking points/narrative, the science has not been done to support the statement that "vaccines do not cause autism."
The Google whistleblower indicated that instead of usual terms people are searching for, Google populates their searches with items Google wants people to search for. That is, through MLF, Google is creating content by inserting speech it favors over the speech its users want.
Another example uncovered was when searching for the commonly used media slur "antivaxxers"
Similar to "vaccines cause" searches, "antivaxxers" returns the autocomplete term "anti vaxxers getting owned" Yet Google Trends shows that suggestion is not warranted in reality because the public just isn't searching for it.
In Washington State, HB 1638 was introduced on January 25, 2019. The bill, which was eventually passed and signed into law, removes personal exemptions to the MMR vaccine. Historical grassroots opposition was seen as the bill worked its way through committees. Meanwhile, a search of terms on Google Trends during the bill's activity up to the date it was signed tells another story.
As Washington citizens raced to educate themselves, research vaccines and activate their community in opposition to HB 1638, Google's biased search engine was forcing the propaganda slogans of "vaccines cause adults" and "antivaxxers getting owned" upon them despite no real world traffic or trending to justify it. The data below shows that the two popular searches travelled in near lockstep to searches about House Bill 1638 in a Washington State-specific search during the bills activity.
Like Washington, New York's recent loss of religious exemptions to vaccination via passage of A2371A showed similar trends. New Yorkers using Google to search terms during A2371A's road to passage showed even more concern about what vaccines can cause and were looking for information on 'antivaxxers' only to be met with curated ideas and subjective narratives that didn't reflect reality.
Google, much like vaccine manufacturers, enjoys congressionally-granted immunity. Under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, "interactive computer services" enjoy broad immunity while "information content providers" do not. Google thus far has been categorized as an "interactive computer service." However by their actions, it could be argued that Google is creating content and acting more like an "information content provider."
Google appears to be taking affirmative, manual steps to curate and proactively decide which preferred news and ideas will be displayed to Google users.
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled The search engine manipulation effect (SEME) and its possible impact on the outcomes of elections found that biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more. Is the vaccine debate and discussion, at the community level and reflected within the votes of our elected officials, rooted in reality or influenced by Google's bias?