Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The social media aren't you friends

We use Google, Facebook and Twitter daily, and they are so ubiquitous we can begin to think of them as utilities, run neutrally in the public interest. That's a mistake. Let's look at the Big Three.

Google. The former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, has passed. He was arguably one of the most consequential individuals in media and politics in the last century. But if you run a Google search on him, you’ll find that the top results consist almost entirely of articles from several liberal publications savaging his reputation as a person. The search results begin with entries that are strikingly cruel and mean spirited — and raise new questions about Google’s objectivity.

I've noticed the same thing on other topics. Search first on Google, then compare on another search engine like Bing to see the difference. Remember: Google worked with Hillary Clinton during the election.

Facebook. From Liberty Hangout: We posted a harmless Joseph Stalin meme to our Facebook page, which pictured Stalin laughing and said “When you kill well over 4 times as many people as Hitler but nobody cares.” After receiving hundreds of likes and shares on the meme, our admins logged into Facebook today to see that it had been taken down from our page for allegedly violating community standards (how??). I was personally handed a 3 day ban for the meme.

However, Facebook will not delete videos of violent death, abortion and self-harm, leaked guidelines show.

Twitter. The co-founder of Twitter apologized for his creation. Why? Because it allowed the election of Donald Trump.  “I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place. I was wrong about that. ... It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in [electing Trump]. If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”

At some point Google and Facebook will be so large that we'll start asking ourselves how to break them up. Amazon, too.

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