Google routinely censors search results for certain keywords on its YouTube video platform to suppress conservative-leaning subject matter, according to a blacklist of censored terms leaked to Breitbart News.
The blacklist, mentioned in an internal discussion leaked by an anonymous Google representative to Breitbart, shows how Youtube buried videos pertaining to topics including: abortion, Maxine Waters and anti-gun activist David Hogg.
YouTube in one instance was prompted to manually intervene in search results last year, Breitbart notes, after a Slate writer contacted the company about pro-life videos showing up when “abortion” is used as a key search term.
The writer, who penned a report on the subject, had claimed videos showing up in “abortion” searches contained “misinformation,” pointing to videos from former-abortionist-turned-pro-lifer Dr. Antony Levatino, a video from a woman discussing how she regretted her abortion, and a video from Ben Shapiro, all of which showed up in top ten search results.
The Slate writer also wrote in her report that YouTube altered its search results following her inquiry, which now feature pro-abortion videos from CNN, Buzzfeed, Vice and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
“The Slate writer said she had complained last Friday and then saw different search results before YouTube responded to her on Monday,” a software engineer in the internal discussion stated. “And lo and behold, the [changelog] was submitted on Friday, December 14 at 3:17 PM.”
Breitbart also released the full blacklist, featuring suppressed terms such as “florida shooting crisis actors,” “david hogg hoax” and the highly specific search term “david hogg cant remember his lines,” the actual title of a video, which would have showed users a viral video questioning one of Hogg’s interviews.
Here is the partial blacklist leaked to Breitbart:
2118 plane crash
2120 florida shooting conspiracy
2121 florida shooting crisis actors
2122 florida conspiracy
2123 florida false flag shooting
2124 florida false flag
2125 fake florida school shooting
2126 david hogg hoax
2127 david hogg fake
2128 david hogg crisis actor
2129 david hogg forgets lines
2130 david hogg forgets his lines
2131 david hogg cant remember his lines
2132 david hogg actor
2133 david hogg cant remember
2134 david hogg conspiracy
2135 david hogg exposed
2136 david hogg lines
2137 david hogg rehearsing
2120 florida shooting conspiracy
The full internal filepath of the blacklist, according to another source, is:
The blacklist was referred to as a “smoking gun” by the software engineer, reports Breitbart.
“We have tons of white- and blacklists that humans manually curate,” another employee in the discussion reportedly stated. “Hopefully this isn’t surprising or particularly controversial.”
When contacted for comment, a YouTube representative told Breitbart the company is a “platform for free speech,” and that it “allow[s]” pro-life and pro-abortion content, while at the same time stating it prefers to promote “authoritative” sources.
The censorship efforts by the Google subsidiary contradict statements made by CEO Sundar Pichai before Congress last month, where he denied the company “manually intervenes” in search results.
Answering Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s question asking why Google’s image search pulled pictures of President Trump for the search term “idiot,” Pichai told lawmakers, “We don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.”
Breitbart covered the exchange in an article last month:
“Now, manipulation of search results,” said Lofgren. “I think it’s important to talk about how search works. Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up, I just did that. How would that happen? How does search work so that that would occur?”
Pichai replied: “We provide search today, any time you type in a keyword we — as Google — we crawl, we’ve gone out and crawled and stored billions of copies of billions of pages in our index and we take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on our two hundred signals, things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it and based on that, at any given time we try to rank and find the best results for that query. And then we evaluate them with external raters to make sure — and they evaluate it to objective guidelines — and that’s how we make sure the process is working.”
Lofgren replied: “So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the users, basically a compilation of what users are generating and trying to sort through that information.” Pichai replied: “Last year we server over three trillion searches and just as a fact, every single day fifteen percent of the searches Google sees, we have never seen them before. So this is working at scale so we don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.” [emphasis ours]
Watch: David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines On TV
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