Big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have performed “perhaps the greatest bait-and-switch in American history” as they now have committed to an about-face to the American value of free speech.
That is the assessment of Breitbart New‘s Allum Bokhari who exclusively presented a leaked Google internal briefing titled “The Good Censor” to the public on October 9th, exposing the world once again to major tech companies’ attitude towards the bedrock of traditional American attitude.
“The Good Censor” is an 85-page briefing that openly admits that Google and other tech platforms are undertaking a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world. Unsurprisingly – especially after leaked video showed Google employees in an emotional meltdown after the election victory of Donald J. Trump – The Good Censor cites the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the rise of the populist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party in Germany as unwelcomed events.
While admitting the shift away from free speech it is also simultaneously admitted that those select few giants “control the majority of online conversations.”
The briefing goes into how Google, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are stuck in a position of going along with the “unmediated marketplace of ideas” (free speech and free markets) vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility” (censorship). These two directions are also described as the “American tradition” which “prioritizes free speech for democracy, not civility” and the “European tradition,” which “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom.” The internal pages claim that all tech platforms are now moving toward the European tradition.
Perhaps the most significant part of the brief, as Breitbart’s Bokhari reports, is when it associates Google’s new role as the guarantor of “civility” with the categories of “editor” and “publisher.”
“This is significant, given that Google, YouTube, and other tech giants publicly claim they are not publishers but rather neutral platforms — a categorization that grants them special legal immunities under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Elsewhere in the document, Google admits that Section 230 was designed to ensure they can remain neutral platforms for free expression.”
Bokhari wrote on Wednesday:
What ordinary Americans long suspected, The Good Censor has proven beyond doubt. According to Google’s own analysis, tech companies have performed perhaps the greatest bait-and-switch in American history, promising their users free speech while they were taking over the market, only to go back on their word once they came to ‘control the majority of online conversations.'”
What better example to prove this bait-and-switch than the statement given by Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president for public policy and communications in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa who told British politicians at the end of last year that it’s “no longer possible to stand up for all speech.”
Just 5 years prior, Twitter’s first executive in the UK, Tony Wang, described the company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.”
The once acceptance and defense of free speech by these big tech players is discussed in The Good Censor, as the document reads: “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations.”
And while Google hubrisly boasts that its free speech bait-and-switch has placed them and a few other giants as controllers of “the majority of online conversations” (aka the majority of all conversation happening on earth) the company has come out and finally admitted directly that it has a censored Chinese search engine project in the works. What better guarantor of “civility”, “publisher, “editor” could the masses of internet users wish to oversee the majority of online conversation?