Pro-conservative US news outlets are quite busy these days publishing revelations of manipulation and bias of tech giants, revealed by their current and former employees.
Allum Bokhari at Breitbart now cites the latest whistleblower to emerge from Google as saying that the company does, in fact, manually correct its search results.
This is something CEO Sundar Pichai explicitly claimed was not the case during his sworn testimony before the US Congress last December.
But now, a source who worked for Google is telling Breitbart that the tech behemoth's video platform YouTube sprang to action after an MSNBC host tweeted that searches for “Federal Reserve” resulted in too many highly ranked “anti-Fed” results.
You watch videos on YouTube all the time, so you go home and put "Federal Reserve" into YouTube's search bar.
This is the first video that comes up (1.6 million views) https://t.co/vt6GQugkHa
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 6, 2018
Chris Hayes even went as far as to refer to YouTube's algorithm as “informationally toxic” because it allowed negative videos about the topic to be surfaced.
But there are more ways than one to be “informationally toxic” – and YouTube soon proved it.
According to the whistleblower, YouTube took the opinion of Hayes as a cue to act and took care of the problem the same way it does with other search terms it wants to keep in check by letting mainstream media sources dominate the results page.
The company allegedly had its employees manually add “Federal Reserve” to a blacklist that lives in a file called “youtube_controversial_query_blacklist.”
Previous entries include “abortion,” Breitbart said, recalling a previous article it published about a move that the website said targeted pro-life content, “in favor of pro-abortion videos from the far-left and establishment media.”
And in both cases, Google reportedly acted to appease journalists espousing leftist biases.
Google and its various properties, like YouTube, are not just any tech platforms out there; in fact, their search results are by far the most dominant in the western world, meaning that any tampering with algorithms could have unforeseen consequences when it comes to properly inform, or misinforming their users.
A YouTube spokesperson is quoted by Breitbart as effectively saying that the company does manipulate search results – but only to eliminate conspiracies and spam, and also, “surface authoritative content of all political viewpoints” – but that it does this algorithmically rather than manually.
This is not unlike what Sundar Pichai told the Congress in December – but now multiple stories citing whistleblowers claim the opposite.