A Matter of Politics
At the start of the year, we made a not-so-bold prediction: That 2018 would be the year everything becomes political. “That’s America,” we wrote, “where the pizza we eat, the shoes we wear and the booze we drink are no longer a matter of taste. They’re a matter of politics.”
In the 12 months since we penned those words, we’ve watched as our money and our economy have gone political… the divides in our families have grown… and, now, even the search engine we use is a reflection of who we vote for.
In case you missed the story…
Google Goes to Washington
On Tuesday, Google got the Mark Zuckerberg treatment when its CEO Sundar Pichai was called to testify before Congress. Items on the docket included whether his company is planning to launch a censored version of Google in China and concerns over the search engine delivering politically biased search results here in the U.S.
Pichai rejected both ideas, saying, “We don’t engage in partisan activities.” And yet, even a surface-level review of the company’s recent history shows otherwise.
“Any View Not Left [of] Center Is Not Welcome”
Leaked emails show that the folks behind Google’s advertising arm wanted to block far-right news site Breitbart from its platform… based on little more than principle. As one employee wrote, “There is obviously a moral argument to be made, as well as a business case.”
And lest we forget Google employees’ reactions to Trump’s election… Footage from a volatile closed-door meeting generated so much heat that one high-level exec issued this statement: “I have heard from some conservative Googlers in the past few days that they haven’t felt comfortable. We need to do better; we need to be tolerant, inclusive.”
Responding to the highly publicized firing of James Damore after he made comments about Google’s culture and diversity policies, one employee noted that it’s “explicitly clear that any view not left [of] center is not welcome.”
A Google Alternative for Liberty Lovers
Of course, none of this definitively proves Google’s complex search algorithm is biased against conservatives. But it certainly adds to the narrative that folks in Silicon Valley just can’t help injecting politics into their products.
If you’re looking for a spin-free alternative that – as a bonus – also doesn’t gather personal information (i.e., the anti-Google), check out DuckDuckGo.