In 2017, without warning or recourse, Google shut down all services associated with Salil Mehta, a professor of statistics, editor of a statistics journal, author of a best selling book on statistics, a former Obama administration official and later, a polling statistics adviser to the Trump campaign. His offense? He ran a blog about mathematics! Google, Facebook and Twitter have become the totalitarian governments of the 21st century, stifling speech their algorithms choose to flag. Unlike us peons, Mehta is well connected and a huge outcry caused Google to reinstate his account.
The European Court of Justice (EU’s equivalent to the US Supreme Court) rules that social media platforms can be ordered to remove defamatory speech, world wide. In other words, individual nations can enforce their speech restrictions, globally.
“Selection bias” is common in news reporting. In this example, the news report about investing in real estate interviews only those who have made much money in real estate, and mostly those who work in the real estate industry. We do not hear from anyone who lost money or had an unsatisfactory experience in real estate investing. This skews our perspective on the subject.
Newspapers worldwide have agreed to jointly engage in a global Covering Climate Now project, where newspapers and other news outlets simultaneously use their advocacy journalism to persuade readers to take action on climate. This is indistinguishable from a global, coordinated propaganda operation and may back fire, turning people off from understanding and undertaking meaningful actions on climate issues.
Twitter has begun to apply its policies selectively. Some people’s tweets will be censored while the same thing said by an influential person will not be censored. In their view, reporters, even if wrong, “may be allowed to tweet things” that others will be prohibited from tweeting.
Google reportedly has a vulnerability that enables 3rd parties to shut down any Google account. In the examples given, this vulnerability has allegedly been used to shut down speakers who some disagreed with, including a political candidate.
A pseudo news story – one of many – proclaims not enough women are in “STEM” fields. This conclusion depends on how you define “STEM” fields. By leaving out many fields of “science”, they are looking primarly at “TE” – technology and engineering only. When all “S” (science) and “M” (math) are included, the discrepancies are not nearly as large. The root issue, though, is that many fields have a dominant gender – but this issue is ignored in favor of focusing exclusively on women in “TE” fields (while pretending this group is “STEM”). For example, about 90% of nurses, which employs millions of workers, are women – yet “health science” is typically excluded from the charts and data tables used to show us that women are not studying “STEM” – because they mean “TE”.
Twitter has been leaking personal information to 3rd parties for a year. Twitter has also been making “inferences” or assumptions about each of us to aid in targeted advertising. In my own case, Twitter and Facebook have both made false inferences – yet they use these false assumptions to target ads – and presumably to curate our news feeds. We only see what Twitter and Facebook wants us to see – which is literally machine driven propaganda.
Interesting and well stated comments on the power of large tech companies to control our democracy as most public discourse now takes place via online forums.
Youtube deletes thousands of historical videos because “hate speech” – destroying resources used by educators to teach students about the Holocaust and the evils of Nazism.