Americans may think they are mad at tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter for censorship or suppression of speech. But their anger doesn’t seem to be comparable to the hatred these companies have for one another.
Google, for instance, is directing its transparency project directly at Facebook. It claims that Facebook is “hosting” and “inadvertently promoting extreme pages” by creating pages for terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or al Qaeda.
According to a new report from the Tech Transparency Project, Facebook’s algorithm automatically created more than 100 pages for US-designated terrorist organizations like Islamic State or Al-Quaeda.
TTP is a non-profit organization Campaign for Accountability’s research initiative. It began in 2016 as the Google Transparency Project and has since expanded to include several large tech companies.
The Capital Research Center [disclosure : I work for CRC], another non profit watchdog, described TTP to be left-leaning in its politics. However, the group does not claim to be politically oriented.
CRC’s Influence Watch describes specifically the Campaign for Accountability in this manner:
“The Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a left-wing advocacy group founded to expose corruption and misconduct in government and the private sector, is ostensibly not partisan. CfA targets conservative government officials and organizations when it investigates them. It has two Democratic operatives on its board. It was founded by former members of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. (CREW), a left-wing “watchdog” group. CfA has requested the investigation of numerous conservative lawmakers and Cabinet secretaries, including ex-Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar… CfA also manages the Google Transparency project, a research initiative supported by Oracle. It examines Google’s influence over various governments and policies.
This cultural revolution of the left seems to be directed directly…at itself.
It makes sense that Google would be vocal about the misbehaviors of other tech platforms. The two are currently facing serious charges in several lawsuits that reached the Supreme Court. These lawsuits are also related to terrorism, which is a little shocking.
Gonzalez v. Google is a case in which Gonzalez’s family claims that Google should pay them compensation for their loss. A separate lawsuit is Twitter v. Taamneh in which Alassaf’s family makes similar claims against Google, Twitter and Facebook.
Both lawsuits claim that ISIS killed two people by using websites such as Twitter, Facebook or Google-owned YouTube. This is because ISIS could post videos of recruitment and other content to these websites, which were not immediately removed. Both suits are based on federal law which allows anyone who “aids or abets” an act international terrorist to sue anyone who knowingly provides substantial assistance to someone who has committed “such an act.”
It is possible to believe that Big Tech companies will continue their tradition of policing one another so the government regulatory regime does not have as much interest in them. This doesn’t mean they won’t be ethical in their competition regulatory regime. However, the more government involvement in private enterprise the better.