Breitbart News has just released a top-secret Google internal company briefing. The briefing is an 85-page long document and is called “The Good Censor.”
The document was leaked to the news organization from an entity within Google. It’s a revealing document that exposes many of company’s notions, intentions and plans.
The most shocking revelation that the document reveals is that that along with Facebook and Twitter, Google is going to undertake a “shift towards censorship” as a response to recent political events such as the US election, the Italian election and Brexit.
This is a major concern considering Google, Facebook and Twitter are in control of most user interactions on the internet.
Early on, at page 14 of the document, Google acknowledges that free speech was originally part of the company’s “DNA.”
However, it then admits that tech companies these days should be prioritizing “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility” over an “unmediated marketplaces of ideas.”
Then the company confesses that being a censor of what can be said and what cannot not be said online is associated with being a publisher, which can present a great legal risk for the big tech platforms.
The document mentions that uncontrolled free speech on the internet is an “utopian narrative.” Pages from 25 to 35 state that the issue of “users behaving badly” is one of the reasons why Silicon Valley tech companies should embrace some form of censorship.
It then insists there are six different ways users behave badly.
Here are the six ways, outlined on pages 25 and 26:
- “Hate Speech” – racist, sexist and hateful statements.
“Although people have long been racist, sexist and hateful in many other ways, they weren’t empowered by the internet to recklessly express their views with abandon.”
- “Reprisals and Intimidation” – Threats, murder or assault on someone for making a statement online.
- “Trolling” – “provoking arguments and flaming disruption”
- “Cyber Harassment” – “Name calling”, “threatening behavior”, “stalking” …
- “Cyber Racism” – “Supremacy, destiny and nationalism. Otherness, separation and hostility”
- “Venting” – Angry people venting their frustration.
“When they’re angry, people vent their frustrations. But whereas people used to tell friends and family about bad experiences, the internet now provides a limitless audience for our gripes.”
So, it turns out for Google that the act of simply making a comment, having a joke, expressing your feelings or venting a frustration online, is one of the reasons that can explain the current rise of big tech censorship.
It serves also as an excuse for these Silicon Valley companies to increase censorship for everyone going forward even if they were not “behaving badly.” Venting your frustration or passionately praising your country is bad behavior according to Google.
The briefing also assesses what Google considers are the five reasons why users are “behaving badly” online.
One reason is that “everyone has a voice.” For Google, everyone having a voice is a major problem. This is partly because there are “terrorists, racists, misogynists and oppressors” everywhere on the internet. Therefore, the idea of Freedom of Speech online should be overlooked for some form of censorship.
In the final stages of the briefing, Google recommends that the big Silicon Valley tech companies are to “police tone” and point users towards a more approving set of rules when it comes to comments, posts and messaging online.
Google admits in the briefing that the big tech platforms have made a move towards censorship in the last few years. This is a massive turn away from the idea of Freedom of Speech which is an important part of Western Civilization. An exert from the document reveals that Google may change its position on what to censor when dealing with public, government or commercial pressure:
“Google might continue to shift with the times – changing its stance on how much or how little it censors (due to public, governmental or commercial pressures).
If it does, acknowledgment of what this shift in position means for users and for Google is essential. Shifting blindly or silently in one direction or another rightly incites users’ fury.”
Google also acknowledges in the briefing that Breitbart News is the most concerned news organizations when it comes to Freedom of Speech. It also identifies that social media platform Gab is the destination for users who are not worried about the increased censorship on the major platforms.
There are many more disturbing statements and revelations in The Good Censor, check out the whole document on Breitbart.com
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